Analytics, Big Data, and the Future of Management: RSM Leadership Summit 2014

October 4, 2014


Having visited the Erasmus Rotterdam School of Management* (RSM) 2014 Leadership Summit, ‘Big Data: What’s in it for Me?’, on October 3rd, there were a number of provocative talks exploring the implications of rapidly advancing data analytics and big data technologies. The conference was at the Van Nelle Fabriek, a classic Dutch factory outside Rotterdam, now an UNESCO World Heritage site and locale for events such as the RSM Summit.


Van Nelle Fabriek

RSM Dean and Professor of Management of Technology, Steef van de Velde, opened the proceedings by giving context concerning the rapid evolution of business analytics. Being well respected in the field of operations research, his original primary field of research, Dean van de Velde has deep knowledge concerning the power of computer-aided decision making, and thus was well suited to address this topic.


RSM Dean and Professor of Management of Technology, Steef van de Velde

At the pre-conference, RSM announced the new Erasmus Center for Data Science and Business Analytics.

The proceedings were moderated by Twan Huys, a well-known Dutch journalist and TV presenter, who did a fine job of balancing between the business, political, ethical, and technical issues surrounding the central topic of big data.

Speakers included, Ulla Kruhse-Lehtonen, VP Customer Insight and Analytics of Sonoma, who gave deep insights into the ways consumer analytics is transforming media and advertising. Riikka Turunen, Director of Data Protection and Privacy, also of Sanoma, gave a talk on data analytics and privacy, a hot-topic, especially in the EU.

Peter Vervest, RSM Professor of Information Management and Networks at the Department of Technology and Operations Management, gave a compelling talk concerning the rapid rise of data analytics and associated business implications from a technical perspective.


Peter Vervest, RSM Professor of Information Management and Networks at the Department of Technology and Operations Management

Jens-Peter Seick, Vice President Product Management and Development at Fujitsu, gave a presentation entitled Big Data – Keep it Simple, focusing on the bottom line implications of data analytics for stimulating revenue generation and focusing cost controls.

Presentation by Roland Schütz, CIO at Lufthansa Passage presented on Big Data @ Airlines, quite an interesting talk considering the tight margins, advanced technologies, and heavy competition in his industry – a combination which demands tight and effective analytics to drive value.

Erick van Heck, RSM Professor of Information Management and Markets at the Department of Technology and Operations Management, concluded by putting the rapidly developing phenomenon of big data into perspective, citing advents such as the internet of things, predictive analytics, and the associated challenges and opportunities created.

The conference concluded with a panel discussion and open Q&A. I was able to pose a question concerning the implication of AI systems such as IBM’s Watson and how this will shape management in the future, potentially disintermediating middle-management decision making.

This led to some interesting discussions concerning airplane autopilots, Google cars, and the potential for computers to guide and make decisions associated with complex systems, often demonstrably better decisions than those that humans make. The implication was that human managers will have a role in the future of automated analytics and AI (expert decision systems), but that this role will likely transform dramatically to that of orchestrator and moderator.

> Interested in Learning more about the future of management in the world of analytics and Big Data? See post ‘Manager-Machine: Analytics, AI, and the Uncertain Future of Management’

* For international readers, RSM is consistently ranked as one of the top 10 European business schools and in the top 40 for global MBA programs. As a double alumnus, I am proud of RSM!

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About SARK7

Scott Allen Mongeau (@SARK7), an INFORMS Certified Analytics Professional (CAP), is a researcher, lecturer, and consulting Data Scientist. Scott has over 30 years of project-focused experience in data analytics across a range of industries, including IT, biotech, pharma, materials, insurance, law enforcement, financial services, and start-ups. Scott is a part-time lecturer and PhD (abd) researcher at Nyenrode Business University on the topic of data science. He holds a Global Executive MBA (OneMBA) and Masters in Financial Management from Erasmus Rotterdam School of Management (RSM). He has a Certificate in Finance from University of California at Berkeley Extension, a MA in Communication from the University of Texas at Austin, and a Graduate Degree (GD) in Applied Information Systems Management from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT). He holds a BPhil from Miami University of Ohio. Having lived and worked in a number of countries, Scott is a dual American and Dutch citizen. He may be contacted at: LinkedIn: Twitter: @sark7 Blog: Web: All posts are copyright © 2020 SARK7 All external materials utilized imply no ownership rights and are presented purely for educational purposes.

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  1. Manager-machine: analytics, artificial intelligence, and the uncertain future of management | BAM! Business Analytics Management… - October 7, 2014

    […] a recent Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) Leadership Summit on Big Data, an expert panel briefly discussed the implications of AI advances in terms of management. As an […]

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