Business Problem Analysis

1. WHAT? Identifies a business problem (do online reviews and ratings impact sales; how much will incentives help recover online abandoned carts; how do the new technologies like Augmented Reality affect customer engagement and purchase behavior; how well can we predict the box office revenue of a movie sequel before the movie studio decides to invest in producing it etc.)

2. WHY? Provides a justification of why this is important problem for a business to understand

3. HOW? Provides a detailed approach how the problem is investigated– the kind of data used, sources of such data, the key variables (outcome variables and variables that determine the outcomes), the design (field experiment, lab experiment), the analytics needed.

4. WHAT? What are implications of the study to the business practice (Impact on revenue, profitability, and cost reduction)?

The research in these papers tend be very technical and may be beyond the scope of some. I want us to focus less on the technical details of the analysis and more on the problem identification, choice of data (primary, secondary, online etc.), analytics chosen (descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive) and business insights and implications of the research. More importantly, at the end of the discussion of each of these papers, we would focus on identifying other unanswered business problems that can be pursued in that domain that are important for further study.

Each team will submit 3-5 slide summary (on Blackboard) of the key points (the problem(s) studied, why it is important, did the authors justify the importance, the data gathered, the analysis used (no need to go into detail), the insights gained, and business implications). The important slide that you should prepare is what other problems/questions that are unanswered in this study but can be further explored by businesses in the future. For example, the research on online reviews (ratings and sentiments) suggests that online reviews (sentiments) and not ratings alone have a positive impact on sales. However, there are other interesting and important questions that may be worthwhile studying. What is the % of fake reviews on your platform? And how would you determine fake reviews? How do fake online reviews affect the customer’s evaluations and purchase behavior? At what level do the fake reviews affect the credibility of the online platform and in turn affect sales.

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