“Competitive Benchmarking: An IS Research Approach to Address Wicked Problems with Big Data and Analytics” by Professor Alok Gupta won the runner-up award for the 2017 CIONET European Research Paper of the Year. The award was presented at the digital leadership conference CIOCITY in Amsterdam in June.
CIONET is the largest community of IT executives worldwide, with a membership of more than 6,500 CIOs, CTOs, and IT directors across Europe and South America.
Gupta’s paper, published in the MIS Quarterly (2015) was co-authored by Wolfgang Ketter of the University of Cologne, Markus Peters of Erasmus University Rotterdam, and John Collins of the University of Minnesota.
The paper defines wicked problems, such as sustainable energy and financial market stability, as societal challenges that arise from complex socio-technical systems where many social, economic, political, and technical factors interact. To understand these factors better, the authors used a novel research method called competitive benchmarking (CB). CB tackles complex challenges of societal scale by using different types of data from a variety of sources, such as usage data from customers, production patterns from producers, and public policy and regulatory constraints. CB can then generate data that can be used to improve operational strategies and judge the effectiveness of regulatory regimes and policies.
Gupta holds the Curtis L. Carlson Schoolwide Chair in Information Management and is the associate dean of faculty and research. His research interests are in the areas of data communication, information security and digital rights, decision support systems, and information economics.