The Social Data Revolution

Wednesday, April 8, 2009 - 17:30
TH 331
Andreas Weigend

Gathering, sharing, and storing data has become trivial. For example, geolocation in the last year has joined email, clicks, searches, social networking, and buying patterns on a global scale. In this talk, I will discuss questions including: What is the value of such data, and for whom? What new data sources will make our lives easier, more effective, more interesting? How can we get better recommendations, based on our behavior and the behavior of our friends? Why do users share data (“social data”), send each other virtual gifts… and what do they really want, in the long term? Using real world examples, I present the PHAME framework: define relevant Problems, invent Hypotheses, create Actions, design Metrics, and conduct Experiments. I also discuss a key driver to encourage users to provide critical data: ROPE, the Return on Personal Engagement. Want to know more? Join, and participate ahead of the talk on via FacebookConnect.


As the former chief scientist of, I helped create a customer-centric, measurement-focused culture. My current interest is developing predictive metrics for user engagement, and understanding virtual gifts. This Spring, I am teaching “Data Mining and E-Business” at Stanford, “Marketing 2.x” at Berkeley, and in the fall “the Digital Networked Economy” at Tsinghua. I am fortunate to work with exciting firms that realize the importance of the social data revolution for product innovation and new business models. Companies where range from (designing algorithms for discovering matches) to Best Buy (incentivizing employees and customers to create content), and from Alibaba (coaching the company towards becoming a data-focused organization) to Lufthansa (innovating their frequent flier program). I also love to work with creative, smart, fun entrepreneur, and live in San Francisco, Shanghai, and on