RSM academics take top spots among big data researchers

Dr Enric Junqué de Fortuny from Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) won the CIONET European Research Paper of the Year award for a publication he co-wrote about behaviour data research. He was presented with the award at the digital leadership conference CIOCITY 17, which took place in Amsterdam in June 2017.

The CIONET European Research Paper of the Year award recognises the best European research paper by looking at factors such as provocative thinking, inspiring new practices and paradigms, practical implications, and the rigidity of research or research methods. In total, 27 research papers were on the shortlist, and the seven-member jury chose nominated two finalists for the 2017 award. Both finalist papers were co-written by RSM faculty members.

Improving predictive analytics

The winning paper, Mining Massive Fine-Grained Behavior Data to Improve Predictive Analytics, was written by Assistant Professor Dr Enric Junqué de Fortuny (RSM), Professor Foster Provost (NYU Stern), Jessica Clark (NYU Stern) and Professor David Martens (University of Antwerp), and was published in MIS Quarterly.

“We are very honoured to have received this award, because it's a good indication that we are researching relevant questions with impact. Both in industry and academia, there is a lot of buzz around big data and predictive analytics, but we find that in practice many companies are still struggling,” said Dr Enric Junqué de Fortuny, who works in RSM’s Department of Marketing Management.

Incorporating various data sources

The researchers explored the usage of fine-grained massive behavioural data to improve predictive analytics. “As it turns out, our behavioural footprints are very telling for other, seemingly unrelated behaviours that a company may be interested in. Typical examples include defaulting on a loan or being interested in a certain product,” said Enric Junqué de Fortuny. The paper details how using this particular type of data can substantially improve predictive performance, even in an application for which predictive analytics has been applied for years. “So, the research also reminds CIOs that sometimes it’s better to take a step back from the hyperfocus on upscaling technology, and think about how to best leverage and facilitate access to existing data sources instead. Indeed, incorporating orthogonal data sources in predictive modelling can lead to great leaps in performance which would otherwise be very hard to achieve using a single source of data.”

Both finalists attended CIONET’s digital leadership conference CIOCITY 17 in Amsterdam where they were able to showcase their main findings.

RSM researchers Prof. Wolf Ketter and Dr Markus Peters won the second prize with the paper they co-wrote: Competitive Benchmarking: An IS Research Approach to Address Wicked Problems with Big Data and Analytics. This paper was published as well in MIS Quarterly.

CIONET IT community

CIONET is a community of IT executives worldwide. With around 6,500 CIOs, CTOs and IT directors across Europe and South America among its members, CIONET shares expertise and a pioneering vision to solve or address IT management challenges. These 6,500 IT executives, each in charge of a department of 10 to 1,000 IT experts, together form a collective, organic brain of over 100,000 IT management specialists. CIONET strives to help its partners understand and implement innovative IT management strategies and solutions through sharing information, and sponsoring research and gaining access to our community.

More information

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s top 10 business schools. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who can become a force for positive change by carrying their innovative mindset into a sustainable future. Our first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes encourage them to become critical, creative, caring and collaborative thinkers and doers. Study information and activities for future students, executives and alumni are also organised from the RSM office in Chengdu, China.

For more information about RSM or this release, please contact Marianne Schouten, communications manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at

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