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TOOLS OF THE TRADE Business Research Goes other events. "The great thing about texts is that we can send them ten minutes before an event and still get a large response," says Schulz. The Huntsman School also invites other depart- ments to use the service. For example, the athletic department might send a text about a special event at a football game, or the drama department might pro- mote a theater performance. The school is careful not to overwhelm students with irrelevant messages. Texts must be actionable, timely, and relevant to a wide audience, says Schulz. "If a text isn't two of the three, we don't send it. We've had students ask if we can announce their club meet- ings. We have to say no, because that's relevant only to a small group." So far, about 1,000 students, or 20 percent, have opted out of the texting club, a rate of attrition that Schulz expected. He hopes to build that number up again this fall with a new giveaway promotion—per- haps a free iPad. The program has been so successful that the school has renewed its texting program with Mobivity for the next three years. "In the past, getting people to show up to our speaker presentations was a real problem," he says. "But with the magic of texting, we have people lining up out the door." Underlying much business research is a sense of frustration, says Christophe Pérignon, a finance professor at HEC Paris in France. "We produce all these new papers, ideas, and meth- odologies, but only a super-small fraction of this output is used by business," he says. "How do we get business leaders to use our techniques?" That frustration was the inspiration behind RunMyCode, a suggested that energy companies could use Watson to mine data so they could better understand environ- mental impacts, reduce accidents, and conserve natu- ral resources. Finally, the third-place team envisioned Watson as a way to enhance airport security, reduce passenger wait times, and streamline customs. While such a competition exposes students to the potential of analytics, it also illustrates how IBM is exploring ways to apply Watson's technology to dif- ferent industries. For example, in a pilot program at WellPoint, a U.S.-based health benefits company, medical professionals are using Watson to help them make better decisions about patient treatment. Citibank is evaluating ways the technology can help improve its customers' banking experience. new Web service that allows researchers to upload PDFs of their studies, explanations of their methods, and the computer code they used to come to their conclusions. Researchers can create companion Web sites to their studies, so that business- people can input data to see how the computer models and conclusions apply to their businesses. Although users must reg- ister, the service is free. To create a companion site, a researcher first submits infor- mation about the study, including the computer code used, a description of what the code does, and a demo of the data. Coders validate the study's code, science, and technical details before the companion Web site goes live. The service is currently compatible with code written in Mat- lab (versions R2009 and later), Rats/Estima, and R. The site's developers plan to add more code capabilities soon. If research- ers have used another language, they can create a "code-only" companion Web site. In that case, users will not be able to run the code in the site's cloud environment, but they will be able to download and run it on their own computers. RunMyCode is supported by HEC Paris, the University of Orléans, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), France's national science foundation. CNRS provides the cloud com- puting power for the site. The project's founders include Pérignon; Victoria Stodden, a statistics professor at Columbia University in New York; Gilbert Colletaz and Christophe Hurlin, both econometrics pro- fessors at the University of Orléans in France; and Yvan Strop- pa, CNRS engineer at the University of Orléans. Although the site now serves primarily business academics, the team hopes to expand it to researchers in biostatistics, math, and the sciences. "As academics, we want our ideas to be easier for the world to use," says Pérignon. "This makes research free for everyone." For more information, visit BizEd September/October 2012 59 LIVE!

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