Insights from the Big Data: Little Ethics? Conference

“Big data is new; it’s like the Wild West. Do we have the right regulations, systems and procedures to guide us?”
—Bidhan L. Parmar, Assistant Professor of Business Administration at Darden

“We stand on the verge of technology that does nothing less than change who we are as human beings. I do think we have to ask: How does technology affect how we think about each other? About how we care for and love each other? Business has an obligation to be involved in that conversation. That’s the only way we can make businesses better: to make them institutions of hope.”
—R. Edward Freeman, Elis and Signe Olsson Professor of Business Administration at Darden

“The thing about data is that it’s great, but you cannot make money off of it if there is not value for the customer. Go back to the marketing fundamentals: for whom and why? Based on that, you can offer a valuable service that the customer is willing to pay for.”
—Rajkumar Venkatesan, Bank of America Research Professor of Business Administration at Darden

“Conclusions from big data analysis are not perfect reflections of reality; the process of analysis shapes data and conclusions and makes its own value judgments. Big data conclusions should be treated as hypotheses to be verified, not as truth.”
—From Darden Professors R. Edward Freeman and Bidhan L. Parmer’s presentation, “Ethics and Big Data”

“A lot of talk is about product attributes. It’s about what the product does. You can monetize it by asking, ‘why does it matter?’”
—Darden Professor Rajkumar Venkatesan

These insights were captured at the conference Big Data: Little Ethics?, hosted by the Hochschule für Wirtschaft Zürich at the University of Applied Sciences in Business Administration Zurich and the University of Virginia Darden School of Business.

For more on the conference, please see “HWZ and UVA Darden School Host Big Data: Little Ethics? Conference.”


About the Faculty

R. Edward Freeman

Freeman is best known for his work on stakeholder theory and business ethics, in which he suggests that businesses build their strategy around their relationships with key stakeholders. His expertise also extends to areas such as leadership, corporate responsibility and business strategy. Since writing the award-winning book Strategic Management: A... Learn More

Bidhan L. Parmar

Parmar is an authority on how to make good decisions — one of the toughest challenges in leading a business. He focuses on how managers make decisions and collaborate in uncertain and changing environments to create value for stakeholders. Parmar’s work helps executives better handle ambiguity in their decision-making. His... Learn More

Rajkumar Venkatesan

Venkatesan is an expert in customer relationship management, marketing metrics and analytics, and mobile marketing.

Venkatesan’s research focuses on developing customer-centric marketing strategies that provide measurable financial results. In his research, he aims to balance quantitative rigor and strategic relevance.

In 2012 Venkatesan published “Coupons Are Not Just for Cutting Prices” in... Learn More