Firms today are establishing market leadership by mastering digital innovation. For example, the traditional "Mad Men" advertising agencies now have to be able to blend digital products and services with creative strategy. Amazon is as much a retailer and supply chain powerhouse as it is a digital innovator. Similarly, the Netflix business model is heavily reliant on continuously building and enhancing digital products and services to compete against incumbents in the entertainment industry. Ford is realizing that its future competitors are likely to be Facebook and Google and not BMW and Toyota. Meanwhile, Local Motors, an HBS-alum led startup, is using crowdsourcing, digital fabrication and 3D printing to disrupt the automotive industry.

Digital Innovation and Transformation is a Harvard Business School course designed to equip students to confidently help conceive, lead and execute digital innovation initiatives. To enrich the course experience, Professor Greenstein have elected to use this platform for assignments. The goal of using Open Knowledge is to stimulate deeper conversation, cross-pollination between ideas, and inclusion of the global "digital transformation" community.

We invite you to read more and dive in by adding your own thoughts through contributions and comments.

Latest Assignment

Competing with Data

November 13, 2019

Read The Full Prompt

Many organizations use large data and data analytics as an essential asset in their business. Think about how Waze collects and analyzes millions of queries every day to estimate traffic flows or airlines organize the requests for seats for hundreds of thousands of users each day to reset their pricing, or UPS uses hundreds of thousands of sensors to track millions of packages each data to feed users information about the progress of their shipments.

For this assignment, please choose a company that uses large data or data analytics to enhance its business. In other words, big data can be valuable in the context of offering a service or as a complement to another business process. How does data serve as an asset in their business? What type of investment are required to build and renew that asset? What type of investments and process put that asset to use, and creates value for the company? How does the company capture value from large data and analytics? What challenges did the company have to overcome to make use of the assets? What challenges and opportunities do you anticipate for the company in the future? Devote most of the space to value creation, but feel free to make observations about aspects of the value capture strategy. (Once again, to make it interesting, please stay away from big data use by the big five – Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft.)

800 words max

Submitted (23)

Big Data Behind Disney Magic
KO
Last modified on November 13, 2019 at 7:41 am
Disney is using advanced analytics to enhance its business and create personalized, special experiences for customers.
The Met’s Goldmine of Data Assets
Keagan Pang
Posted on November 11, 2019 at 6:14 pm
The Metropolitan Museum of Art aka “the Met” in New York City is the third most visited museum in the world. Established in 1870, the Met has accumulated a collection of over 2 million artifacts housed in 2.2 million square [...]
23andMe, who does it profit?
Corine Morain
Posted on November 13, 2019 at 2:49 am
Combining data analytics and healthcare raises interesting questions of ethics. In a context where consumer data are an increasingly valuable currency globally and concerns for individual privacy becomes widespread, what is 23andMe’s situation?
Devil in data. Monsanto
Theon Greyjoy
Posted on November 12, 2019 at 7:42 pm
Agriculture is among businesses that can benefit from big data the most. In theory. The leader in building infrastructure is a controversial but consistent company
Farm to Data Table: John Deere and Data in Precision Agriculture
C. Williams
Posted on November 12, 2019 at 12:05 am
Farm equipment manufacturer? Data technology leader? How about both? As the global leader in precision agriculture, John Deere is innovating through the internet of things and data analytics to help farmers improve their operations, bottom line, and ability to feed [...]
A Brex of Fresh Air in Corporate Credit Access
Tommy PF
Last modified on November 12, 2019 at 1:48 pm
Brex is a corporate card company that uses bank information to make real-time data-driven decisions about the credit limits that it should set for start-ups and other small businesses. This helps minimize financial risk while increasing the revenue that the [...]
Wayfair – The E-Commerce Challenger
MAO
Last modified on November 12, 2019 at 11:21 pm
Wayfair is an e-commerce company that specialized in furniture and home-goods. Founded in 2002, it is one of the largest e-commerce companies in the United States with $8 billion of sales in 2018. The company has experienced high growth, and [...]
Way mo’ miles, way mo’ data
LoremIpsum
Last modified on November 13, 2019 at 12:06 am
'Self-driving cars' may well be a misnomer, because data drives them. 🚗🚗🚗 As the pioneer in self-driving technology, how does data set Waymo apart? Can their data capabilities allow them to tip the self-driving market?
Pushing the mantra “data is the new oil” to the limit
Matthieu
Posted on November 4, 2019 at 3:54 pm
Shell, the international energy company, has been an early adopter of data analytics in order to identify potential for improvement in the evolving energy industry. The company constantly tries to innovate, and it does not hold back from investing heavily [...]
Esri and ArcGIS
Jackson Howell
Posted on November 12, 2019 at 10:04 pm
ABOUT ESRI Growing out of research conducted at the Harvard Laboratory for Computer Graphics, Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri from here on) was founded as a land-use consulting firm in 1969 with a mere $1,100 of seed capital from founders [...]
LinkedIn
Paxton
Posted on November 12, 2019 at 8:26 pm
LinkedIn is an online professional networking site that allows individuals to post resumes and connect with others.
SHAZAM – The Rhythm of Music and Data
Kemi Akenzua
Last modified on November 14, 2019 at 11:40 am
The tradeoff between one’s privacy and an enhanced user experience is often considered within the context of such large corporations but there are much smaller companies that also rely on big data to enhance and monetize their business. One such [...]