Section 001, Instructor: Laurel Miller

Weekly Question #3: Complete by February 9, 2017

Leave your response as a comment on this post by the beginning of class on February 9, 2017. Remember, it only needs to be three or four sentences. For these weekly questions, I’m mainly interested in your opinions, not so much particular “facts” from the class!

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In your opinion, what was the most important takeaway from Maurice Whetstone’s talk on Thursday? What did you learn about the way data is used to make decisions? Relate your observation to the class material if you can.  If you did not attend class you cannot answer this question and this will be the question that you can miss without penalty.

50 Responses to Weekly Question #3: Complete by February 9, 2017

  • The most important takeaway from Maurice Whetstone’s talk on Thursday was that Data is in the heart of everything. I learned that data is not only very important to retail, but also important to any department of business or any job out there. He talked about how during a live broadcast, data from live comments/questions were the reason why there were increased/spikes in sales when questions were answered or a certain word was said by the host. This is a way data is used to make decisions. He also talked about metadata and how when there is just data, there is no meaning to it. It is exactly what we’ve discussed in class.

  • The most important takeaway from Maurice’s talk was that data is used absolutely everywhere. Data is crucial for making decisions and improving in the business world. One particular example that stuck with me was when Maurice told us about how data collected directly affected the sales of something. He went on to tell us how data analysts were able to tell the host what to say just to boost sales and answer questions about the product in live time.

  • The most important thing that I took away from Maurice Whetstone’s talk to us on Thursday is that data makes the world go round. Right off the bat, he asked us to name a company or place that doesn’t have any data. No one had an answer because there is data in almost everything. I learned that companies (especially big ones such as QVC) look at and analyze data in real time to make decisions to help boost their sales, awareness etc. I think it’s interesting that certain phrases being said like “great value” can increase sales. The main idea of his presentation, that data is everywhere, relates to class because of the first in class activity we did where we explored Alter Hall for sources of data.

  • The most important take away I found in Maurice’s presentation is the idea that data is found everywhere. Maurice has a technological background, but has founded his technology career within only and all retail companies. He has not limited himself to traditional technology companies such as Google or Microsoft because he recognizes that data is available in all industries and individuals like himself with a technological background are taking advantage of that to make better decisions to improve their business.

  • The biggest takeaway from Mr. Whetstone’s talk is clearly that data is not only crucial to a company’s day-to-day operations, but the future profit as well. Analyzing data, coming to conclusions, and implementing those conclusions is at the heart of what Mr. Whetstone does. Because of data, there is now a team that directly communicates with hosts on live television, prompting them to say certain things or make some subtle movements to directly impact the company’s bottom line. It is curious that a phrase such as “great value” can boost sales. I wonder if there is a point after which there are diminishing returns for repeating a phrase too many times. I’m also surprised that QVC still has physical data centers and has not moved to the cloud.

  • Maurice Whetstone talked mainly about data and it is always changing. The aspect of date being always changing adds to the joy of being in his field. This job will always be changing, and there will never be a dull moment. It is worth mentioning that in the past, there was no Twitter or other social media, so there was no data about certain company’s online profile. Now, we have this data and that data can be used to facilitate what companies do based off of the information from the consumers.

  • I heard Maurice speak at an AIS meeting last semester and I was blown away when I found out the backend of QVC. My biggest takeaway was how the IT department communicates to the host of the show to say key words that spike sales. It was also interesting how Maurice showed such a passion for his work and love for QVC.

  • The most important takeaway from the talk on Thursday would be when he was telling the class of the story about how because of the one information he found from the data, he helped to improve the sales. It got me thinking about how there are many of us who are faced with data from our day to day life but we do not know the importance of the data that are being presented. If we know what we are looking for in the data, it would be at our advantage. I also learned about how the use of data in businesses have evolved over the years and the importance of data in businesses.

  • The most memorable thing I remember from Maurice Whetstone’s talk was his description of how data experts are able say “this lamp will be sold from 10:00-10:30 AM” or “this handbag will be sold from 1:00-2:00” and everyone will just take their word for it. What I remember most also leans into what I learned about how data is used to make decisions. Data is used to make most, if not all, decisions. For instance, if data shows someone is more likely to buy a blue shirt than a white shirt, data experts will suggest to put a personalized recommended option off to the side that displays blue shirts whenever that person enters the site. Data is used to improve customers experiences, profits, productivity, and much more.

  • The most important takeaway of Maurice Whetstone’s talk was his insight on the importance of data. He frequently mentioned how members of his team would find “data nuggets”, and shared with us his personal experience of finding one of these “data nuggets” with the silver polish. For me, this really showed the importance of data analytics because even a small sample of data like that really helped his business in a major way. In addition, he was incredibly passionate about his job and he was a engaging speaker.

  • My biggest take away from Maurice’s presentation was how much data actually goes into running a company. There has to be thousands of hard working and smart people to make that company work and that is what amazes me. It makes you realize how dedicated you must be to have a successful business. The other thing that I took away was how he finds the nuggets within the data which can affect the companies bottom line by thousands if not millions of dollars. This make me gain a new perspective on data.

  • The most important thing I learned is that data is very important; it is basically the key to the business’s success. The business has to make sure to keep track on the data because the data can make a variety of differences. The business may make decisions and even improve things that are not doing so well. If a business notices one store is doing better than the other in selling a certain item, they would make decisions of focusing on that stores customers with that certain product. Data is used to make sure the business is running right. Data is basically the guide to earning business and being a successful business.

  • The most important thing I learned from Maurice and his presentation is that data is always evolving and can lead you to different business ventures. For example, Maurice emphasized his different retail jobs working at Coach bags and Urban outfitters and that you must have a dual personality by not only networking with customers but researching your target market and sales. To elaborate even more, Maurice shared that the retail world and data are always progressing moving from the basic Microsoft applications to multiple mobile e-commerce technologies. In the end, what we learned in class and from Maurice is that interpreting data is a main focus in the business world today and will be a common trait for successful businesses in the future.

  • Hearing Maurice Whetstone speak during Thursday’s class session had really made me realize how big of an impact data has on just about everything, and also how data is simply everywhere. The one thing which really stuck out to me as an example of how data is used to make decisions is the live broadcasts which he had discussed. He had also discussed how they had used feedback and other forms of data which his company uses to make important decisions. This presentation had truly shown me how crucial data is and how it is everywhere we go on a daily basis.

  • The most important take away I got from Maurice’s talk was that data is everywhere and everything. Data is changing the work environment drastically. Everyday Maurice uses data at QVC. He is able to use data in his job to make and save the company lots of money. I found it very interesting when he talked about using data to see what words viewers on TV liked and disliked.

  • To me, the most important takeaway from Maurice Whetstone’s talk is how companies use data to analyze consumers’ behaviors. Information processed by the data analytics team goes to the business analytics team, who will generalize the customer buying patterns by using the given data. After this process, businesses can predict what is the best time to sell a specific product to maximize their profit. We can see that data analysis plays a major role in the companies’ decision-making process.

  • One of the key takeaways I received from Maurice is how data is incorporated into every decision making process of an organization. Maurice explained certain events that related to the collection and utilization of data, which helps foster knowledge. An example of this is when Maurice discussed how data analytics helped analysts determine when certain goods and services would be sold at what time. The ability to have that information can help improve a companies operational efficiencies and expand their margins in the process. Another takeaway from Maurice was how QVC still runs on a traditional database vs. a cloud software option. I wouldn’t be surprised if QVC eventually transitions to the cloud like many companies are today, but it may worth knowing how differently data will be leveraged in a cloud infrastructure vs. traditional architectures.

  • I think the most important takeaway from Maurice Whetstone’s talk was the importance of data to a business. I learned that data is critical to decision making. Companies need to be able to interpret data efficiently to be able to make the best decisions. Because data is so critical to decision making, the data used has to be reliable. This ties back to a class discussion we had on an article that stated that one out of every three business leaders don’t trust the data they use to make decisions. It’s important for leaders to trust their data so that they will be able to trust the decisions of the company.

  • The biggest takeaway from Maurice Whetstone’s presentation is that data is present and essential for all professions in the world. He asked the class if they could name a single profession that did not involve some sort of data, and no one could come up with one, proving his point. He then went on to talk about the different things he had done at QVC regarding data. In my opinion, the most interesting out of all of his stories was the one about how they made an algorithm that monitored the chat about the item currently being sold. I thought it was really cool that they found a way to use the data from people talking in order to increase their profits.

  • I think the most important takeaway from Maurice Whetstone’s talk was how important data is and how frequently it is collected and used. I knew that data was always collected but the thing that blew me away was how they use it not only for statistics, but also apply it to business. The example he referred to was when he said they would make changes on live conference or selling shows through a mic. This instantly drove up sales with the speaker that had no blue tooth. I think that people need to have their demands met. The power of data is very important. It shows what people truly want. This helps business make efficient and less costly decisions. We talk about many of this stuff in class especially through the articles we read.

  • The most important takeaway from our guest speaker Maurice Whetstone’s last Thursday was that Data is in everywhere of one could even imagine. He specially mentioned the importance of data in the business world. Data could show great importance to a company’s daily operations with huge impacts on its profit as well, for example when he gave us an example of how in QVC they can control which products sell more and how to increase the sale of a given product by only “influencing” in what the host would say live on the show. This was only one example of how data can be used to make decisions on a business setting. Mr. Whetstone’s also mentioned that by using customer’s data (that we give even without realizing while navigating on the internet) a company can specialize advertisements to reach a specific target and increase its sales. This topic specifically reinforced what was discussed previously in class when we studied one of the ways data can be used.

  • The most important take away from the talk was that data is everywhere and it changes all the time. When he asked us if we can name something that doesn’t have data, I felt really lost. I never took time to really think about data, because it has always been there. I liked how he said he went into the fashion/media with data, because it constantly changes over time. It was also cool to understand how businesses used data to make decisions to help further the company sales. Data is the core of every business.

  • The most important takeaway from Maurice Whetstone’s talk on Thursday for me was the vital role of data in business. According to his questions in the very beginning of the talk, no companies now work without data. Data is significantly important in business that from data analysis, business/companies can find the best time to sell a product and what to tell the host to say (on live!) at some certain times to rocket sales. I have known that data is very helpful for business to understand customer behavior but Maurice Whetstone definitely stressed out the importance of data again for me to put my consciousness further on business analytics.

  • Maurice proved that the most important thing in business is data. He has been in numerous industries working and now sells products but it relies on data for every single technique QVC uses. One of the interesting facts was how they update their live shows to the exact word coming from the speaker. There are times where they see spikes in sales just when the speaker says certain words and that is when they know to cue specific terms and wording at certain times.

  • The most important takeaway I got from Maurice’s talk is that data is important in any business. As an MIS minor, I understand that it will play a very important role in my future. The use of data is crucial for up and coming companies to survive. It was very interesting to learn about all the different ways that QVC uses data to enhance their customer experience and boost sales. I liked learning about how Maurice used data to figure out why a product was not selling well.

  • The most important takeaway from Maurice’s speech is how integral data is in any working environment. Although QVC does not seem like a match on the outside to make use of data, they were able to expand their business using data to their advantage. Maurice also taught me not to look at a company from the outside and make a judgement on their working environment. Although QVC seems like an “old” people company, Maurice made it seem as if it can be one of the best working environments.

  • I think the most important takeaway from Maurice’s talk was about the real world application of metadata. It made sense to me as we were learning it and I did understand its application to actual data science in the workforce, but it was very interesting to hear him explain that with the specifics and the small metadata that they have it makes it so much easier for the QVC company, as well as other companies around the world, to grow their business and succeed. Their companies can use the data that they find, with the help of its metadata, to understand what’s working and what’s not in their tactics to gain and sustain customers.

  • The biggest takeaway from Maurice’s speech was that data isn’t just numbers with out purpose they actually have a lot to do with business and can help elevate a business from good to great. What was crazy to me was when he was talking about when the salesman would say a certain word the sales would automatically go up and they determined that through data.

  • The most important thing I learned from Maurice’s speech was that being proactive is important when working with data for companies. During his talk, he provided us with the example of when he went out of his way to check data for sales for a certain product to find out why money was not coming in. He took it upon himself to discover the problem and reported it to the company so that it could be fixed. As someone works with data, being proactive is key to success in a company because without it, certain problems may never be found. Maurice went out of his way to help the company rather than just waiting to be told what to do with the data or data sets.

  • The most important takeaway for me from Maurice’s talk was that data is all around us. I never really considered how data is a part of most aspects of my life. Something as simple as buying a pair of sneakers online (as Professor Miller talked about in class) provides a website with much more information about a person/customer than I had first thought. Data collection and interpretation is crucial to running a successful business.

  • One Key takeaway from Maurice that stuck with me was that data is essential to our world now. Everywhere we go data is present and it can be utilized and leveraged to anyone’s use. Data plays a crucial role in business now because they use it to reach the consumer faster and more efficiently. After Maurice discussed his experience at QVC it came to my surprise that they still use a normal database apposed to cloud. I foresee that QVC will make the transition to cloud joining its counterparts. Overall I truly enjoyed Maurice’s speech and thought it was highly insightful to the world of data analytics.

  • The most important takeaway from Maurice Whetstone’s speech, is that almost everything in business revolves around data. Companies use data to target audiences to increase sales of thier products. Data is the huge way to increase the wealth and value of any business. The things Maurice talked about are basically everything we’ve learned and talked about in class without noticing. From class I’ve learned to find data on anything.

  • The most important thing i took way from Maurice Whetstone’s talk was the real time updates from tv show to the website and the people on the websites and watching the program. For example, when he was talking about how people wanted to know if the speakers were bluetooth or not the guys in the background noticed this issue and told the man on the tv program to tell the people watching that it was not blue tooth and update the website accordingly. Overall i really did enjoyed his speech. i was glad it was someone from QVC because my grandmom loves QVC and i told her all about it.

  • The biggest takeaway I got out of Maurice Whetstone’s talk was the use of data is essential in businesses. At first I question his statement but realized alot of points as he was talking and why its essential to keep a bushiness. This because many businesses can’t be innovative to their company or even be able to stay stable without data. Without a public data or a way to keep track of movement the company wouldn’t know where to step up or even innovate instead they’ll be dead lock in its tracks. I enjoyed his speech and listening to what he had to say about his opinion about data and relating it to QVC.

  • The most important takeaway from Maurice Whetstone’s talk was that data is needed for any business, no matter the domain. Maurice showed us how QVC analyzes their data to see when the best time to sell a product is to produce revenue. Another thing that he talked about was how they can tell the host who is trying to talk about a product certain words so that more people would be attracted to it.

  • I really enjoyed the talk that we had last week with Maurice Whetstone for two reasons. First of all, I found interesting the talk itself because it gave me a better insight of how data is actually applicable to the real world and how everything that we learn in class is relevant to what a corporation faces on a daily basis. The second thing that I find interesting is how QVC utilizes data in real time by increasing sales through live advertisement or tv ads. Finally, what I learned from this talk and the class itself is that data is like the ‘Deep Web’, everything is on it but you just have to be able to find it.

  • I believe the main take away was that you can use data to narrow things down and better serve your customers/audience. Data’s used to make decisions by looking for a specific pattern in sales and using those patterns to better understand what customers want, and what persuades them to want to buy. His lecture contributed to what we we’re learning because it further confirmed how useful data is and how it can be used to solve problems and or make money!

  • The most important takeaway that I got from Maurice Whetstone’s talk was how he was able to build a system that allowed the QVC to know what certain “buzzwords” said would cost a spike in sales. This was fascinating to learn about because I had never heard of another company building a system like that before. I learned that QVC was able to use real-time data to let the presenters know what certain words to say so that they could sell more of a product. This relates to the data visualization that we are learning in class now because Maurice said that the company would be able to see the spike in sales on a line chart when key “buzzwords” were said.

  • the most important takeaway from Maurice Whetstone’s talk is data is important and everywhere. Data is everywhere now, even we didn’t recognize it. For example, when we want to buy something online, we usually search it on Google. Then Google will provide some results which people like most. We can save a lot of time on compare and choose products because of data. For companies, by collecting data, they can easily know what is their custom want.

  • For me, the biggest takeaway was that you should pursue a career that you are deeply interested in, and not simply to make money. I want to like my job as much as it appears Maurice Whetsone likes his job. I know it sounds cliche, but that is honestly the biggest takeaway for me because my major and interest is so opposite from this entire class and what he spoke about. I was interested by how the live data on the number of sales is truly taken into account minute-by-minute, I always thought that it was a bit embellished but after that class, I was pretty much sold on the method to the madness looking at all the data in immense detail.

  • The biggest take-away I got from having Maurice’s talk was that there is always a better way to manage data, and how the key results we strive for tend to be anticipation. I was especially inclined by his story of how the IT guys wanted to help the call-line people to better anticipate what the buyers wanted and what they were asking, Being able to anticipate and say, “hey, say value again” while seeing sales increase must have been a great feeling. His presentation tied in well with our class considering we have been honing in on how data can make or break the difference in how people react to certain things. For QVC, I am only more certain that data truly affects their profits.

  • The presentation given by Maurice was eye opening at the one point when he told the story of how they were able to interpret data to allow them to have better product displays and know specific times to display products which allowed them gains of I believe $900,000. This showed the importance of being able to use data since it can optimize a company’s operations. Data science is a field that is rapidly expanding and Maurice’s presentation clearly demonstrated why it has become so important in the modern economy.

  • The most important takeaway from Maurice Whetstone’s talk for me was that data is ubiquitous and that no major business operates without the use of data. I was fascinated to learn that data warehousing and analytics can be a key resource and driving force when it comes to taking major business related decisions. The best example of that was when he mentioned that how retail sales of the products he sold at QVC and other companies he worked for were directly affected when data analytics was brought into the picture. I was also intrigued to learn about how times had changed and how data was transferred from one place to another using EDI (electronic data interchange). However, as a potential MIS major this talk certainly made me realize the true importance of data to any business organization.

  • The biggest take-away for me from Maurice’s talk is how using data that is readily available can massively improve your business. For instance, he discussed how while at QVC they realized that people became less interested in purchasing a product after 5 minutes of air time and so they shouldn’t spend 10 minutes advertising one product. Just a change from 10 to 5 minutes per product means that they could double the number of products that they advertise. There was also the story about how no one who bought sterling silver was buying the accompanying polish. This was very easy to see if someone looked at the data, but no one ever did. Just looking at available data can help your company tremendously and I think that it shows just how important it is for people to check their data for any areas that can be improved.

  • The most important takeaway from Maurice Whetstone’s talk was that data is literally everywhere. I thought it was interesting how all the “behind the scenes” workers are the backbone of QVC. They tell the sellers on camera what to say or how to kill airtime. I never stopped to think about the people who weren’t on screen. I thought the one story he told us about the bluetooth speaker was interesting, as well as less popular items being sold for less time than big ticket items. This relates to our class just how we walked around on the first day of classes for the in-class activity. Data is in the heart of everything we do and see.

  • After Maurice Whetstone’s presentation, it made me realize how much data is used on a daily basis in today’s digital divide. Data is used in all sorts of ways in business, for one example to distinguish different data sets between male and female products. The most important take away from Mr. Whetstone’s presentation is that data is used for all aspects of business. It can be used to predict next consumer wants and needs and even changing costumer service habits and procedures.

  • The major takeaway from Maurice Whetstone’s talk was that data is omnipresent, and no business can function efficiently without the use of data. He emphasised how data influences the decisions made in an organisation. I found it very interesting when he discussed about data warehousing and data analysis; these aspects played a key role when it positively affected the sales of the products sold by the companies he worked for. The ability to have such vast information will aid to improve the company’s operations.

  • The takeaway I had with Maurice Whetstone’s talk was how important data is becoming. Markets that you wouldn’t think evolve data mining are trying to put their foot in the door. Its surprising to see how prevalent the storage of this information is to sell goods. Traditional tactics of waiting to see earning reports and following supply and demand are now elementary. The world is evolving and so are business tactics. With these exponential technological advances its easy to see the business world is steering towards big data.

  • One of the key takeaways that I retained from Mr. Whetstone’s talk on Thursday was that data is pervasive, and that every industry – from agriculture to IT – has some type of data to enhance its’ operations. For instance, his story on how his team worked on fun project outside of work for personal enjoyment, turned into a serious project that enhanced QVC’s operations and allowed the company to target a specific audience at a specific time, and decide how long the product should be on the air. Finally, one of the concepts that Mr. Whetstone mentioned that we meticulously discussed in class was that of how without data interpretation, data itself alone is completely futile. This logically makes sense as without critically analyzing and applying numbers, one cannot utilize just numbers to solve operational problems.

  • The most important thing I learned during the presentation was that data is in virtually everything we do these days. No matter what type of job I take out of college there is a good chance I will be working with data of some form.

  • One of the best takeaways that I got from the guest speaker was how when he talked about working with QVC, how they were able to increase sales on the fly during the show. I found it extremely interesting that by telling the sales person who was live on the show, certain words or phrases to say just to increase the number of buyers. This can relate to the idea of how data must be interpreted in order for it to be useful.

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Office Hours
Laurel Miller (instructor) 11:00am-12:00pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays, Speakman Hall 210 or by appointment.
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