New Wine And New Bottles: The Promise Of Research In The Age Of Big Data

The Promise of Research for Business Popular consumer web platforms use online controlled experiments known as A/B tests to compare the effect on users of different features. At Microsoft’s Bing, for example, there are over 200 concurrent experiments running on any given day. Google infamously tested 41 shades of blue on users to gauge their reactions before deciding on the Pantone shade of its hyperlink.

Thanks to the ease of using the platforms to conduct research, companies can easily and repeatedly divide customers into groups and give them different experiences to inform how they develop products and services to the end of improving customer experience and increasing sales. These kinds of experiments have become commonplace in online business. Randomized controlled trials¾in use in medicine, business, and other fields to test effectiveness by comparing the outcomes of an intervention with a particular group against a randomly selected group that does not receive the intervention¾are an inexpensive way to know what works.

Author: Beth Simone Noveck


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