Why CBS Podcast: Professor Sandra Matz

Professor Sandra Matz explores how companies can turn customer’s personal data into a value proposition.

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Photo: Mahmood Ahmed

Management Professor Sandra Matz studies human behavior at the intersection of big data and social psychology. Her research has shown how just one click on Facebook can help marketers create psychological profiles and how money can buy us happiness.

While Facebook has reported that “malicious actors” have taken advantage of search tools on its platform, making it possible for them to collect information on most of its users worldwide, Matz points out that the massive amounts of data companies collect can also lead to positive results.

“I think it would be a real shame if we were to just ban those technologies all together,” she tells Why CBS podcast host Fahad Ahmed ’17. “There are so many opportunities that we have to use that technology in a way that helps people. But if we don't have that discussion, if people don't even know what's happening, we can't have the debate around what is it that we want to use it for.”

Companies, Matz says, should look to their customers for insight on how best to use their data to create value.

“If companies really start thinking about their customer, instead of their product – I think there’s so much value in that,” Matz says. “If you really put the customer at the center of everything, not only will you be able to make your product a lot better, but you’ll also kind of see which are the things, using data, that customers might value, and what are the things that customers might not necessarily want you to do.”

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About the researcher

Sandra Matz

Sandra Matz takes a Big Data approach to studying human behavior in a variety of business-related domains. She combines methodologies from psychology and computer...

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