Research and Application
My research investigates the diffusion of information. I examine three large questions: (1) How do consumers find things out?, (2) What do consumers do with that information once they have it?, and (3) How do they pass their product insights along to others through online word-of-mouth? Given the explosion of new forms of Internet-based communication technologies, especially with the advent of social media, the answers to these questions are changing and new every day. Digital transformation is and will continue to fundamentally alter the way business is done, and at the base of this transformation is the flow of information among consumers. If we can understand that, then we can better prepare managers for the constantly changing future. I view this process through the lens of complex systems, i.e., that the best way to understand information diffusion is to model the consumers as individuals who are diffusing product insights and marketing information and their interactions, and then observe the emergent outcome of those models, such as product purchases, churn processes, and overall customer lifetime value.
I have applied my research to social media analytics, freemium network-based games, app adoption, not-for-profit donations, and innovation adoption. I have worked with a number of different companies and organizations while studying these research questions, including: Teradata, Expedia, American Red Cross, National Geographic, Brazil's Institute of Applied Economic Research, and many more.
Besides providing marketing insights to understand the diffusion of information, I am also interested in creating tools, pedagogy, and frameworks to help managers make more data-driven decisions. I teach classes, workshops, and MOOCs on agent-based modeling, digital marketing analytics, and data science, and the application of these methods to marketing and management decisions. In my research, I work extensively with machine learning and artificial intelligence, including causal state modeling, natural language processing, neural networks, and evolutionary computation, and I have written a textbook on agent-based modeling and teach an award winning MOOC based on this book.
- November 7, 2017: Presented "Using Big Data, Social Networks, and Agent-Based Modeling to Understand Information Diffusion" at the Collective Dynamics of Complex Systems Seminar at Binghamton University.
- October 24-25, 2017: Participated in a roundtable on "Customer Decisioning in the Digital and Mobile Age" with Andrew Stephen and John Deighton at Teradata Partners, and interviewed as part of the Teradata Partners Virtual Conference Newsdesk about "AI, Marketing, and the Customer Journey".
- September 22, 2017: Presented "Data-Driven, Theory-Interpretable Computational Social Modeling" at UNCC's Data Science Initiative Seminar and "Can One Bad Apple Spoil the Bunch? How 'Market Value' Can Increase Discrimination and Inequality Even When Most Firms Are Fair" at UNCC's Complex Systems Institute Seminar.
- August 31, 2017: Presented "Brand Reputation Tracker: Update and Illustrative Research" as part of the University of Oxford's Saïd Business School's Center for Corporate Reputation Annual Symposium. The brand reputation tracker is now up.
- August 7-10, 2017: Taught a Tech Bootcamp / Workshop on using R, Python, and Amazon Web Services for Business Analytics at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.