Section 003, Instructor: Laurel Miller

Extra credit: Complete by September 20

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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.

Your answer will not appear unless I approve it so please do not worry if you do not see it appear. I will approve them next Thursday when they are due.

30 Responses to Extra credit: Complete by September 20

  • Maurice was very enthusiastic, happy, and embodied his message of finding a career that you love. If Maurice was doing a job he didn’t enjoy, he wouldn’t have the motivation to go to college classes and speak to young people about data, their future, or finding the right career. His insight into a big corporation like QVC was very valuable along with his knowledge of data provided for a very informative talk.

  • I really enjoyed Maurice Whetstone’s talk today in class. I loved how passionate he was about what he does and that made it a lot more interesting and easy to listen to. He was really funny and made learning about his job within data science super intriguing.

  • I think the most important takeaway from Maurice’s talk was how data could be used to make businesses more efficient and profitable. I learned that data can be used to show opportunities for improvement within company systems ( for instance waiting until the end of the day to pack up customers goods to save money). Another important topic Maurice mention, which has also been discussed during class time, was that companies have access to our data so we should be careful with what we do on the internet.

  • The most important takeaway from Maurice Whetstone’s talk for me was to find a job that you enjoy doing. This was the thing that stood out the most to me because it was evident from listening to Maurice talk that he loves what he does and working with data. I learned that data usage is constantly being innovated, and the analysis of data is crucial in a consumer-run world. The work the Maurice and his team does is related to what we learned about how data is turned into information and how it is accessed and worked with through streamlined groups in a workplace.

  • My most important takeaway is what he touched upon regarding asking questions. I believe he stated it as “Those who ask questions look dumb for 1-2 minutes, but those who don’t ask questions look dumb their entire life”. I learned that almost every job uses data and influences why we make decisions. I thought he was an excellent speaker and thoroughly enjoyed it.

  • The most important takeaway I observed was how important and yearned data is in modern society. Maurice’s experience at QvC a couple of years ago to now is dramatic. With the evolution of data analytics throughout those years, companies like QvC were able to expand their businesses. Other companies have started to adapt data science to improve their businesses, which is why the job rate for these types of jobs have been increasing.

  • In my opinion, the most important takeaway from Maurice Whetstone’s talk on Thursday is that you should always try to present yourself in a respectful and positive manner, no matter what you do. He stressed the importance of this very idea as a life lesson. I learned that data is used to make decisions all the time within businesses and that it can be used in many different ways and can pay dividends. This relates to what was previously discussed in class in that data is everywhere and that it is there to be turned into information which can consequently lead to better decision-making.

  • The most important takeaway from Maurice’s talk was the importance of ensuring accuracy in terms of reporting data. It’s important for everyone involved to be on the same page and make sure that the data they are inputting is correct because if even one slight mistake is made, the entire process can be thrown off. At QVC, data is used to determine what customers want and how they respond to an ad on TV when certain phrases such as “great deal” are used. An example he talked about that can be related to class is the use of data and metadata. If customers request to know what information QVC has on them, they have to hand over that information because of privacy regulations and have to delete it upon request if the data is over 10 years old.

  • The most important takeaway from Maurice’s talk on Thursday was one of his life lessons to let people treat you how you let them. I thought this was interesting because the cliche phrase is “treat others how you want to be treated” and that just doesn’t follow peoples behaviors. I learned that data is in everything. Maurice explained that everything has data and asked if we could name a profession in which no data is used, but oddly enough there is not one.

  • Throughout class our guest speaker, Maurice Whetstone, brought up a number of points to takeaway in order to help be successful. One point of advice stood out to me specifically and it was that the person who asks a question looks dumb for only a couple minutes; however, the person who doesn’t ask a question looks dumb forever. Throughout my years in school, I noticed that people do fear to ask the teacher/professor questions because they fear of losing dominance and looking dumb. I see this especially in my math classes because with some students they tend to struggle much more than others in the class and don’t want to get made fun of for not knowing an answer; however, it backfires and the students tend to receive poor scores in the class. By having Mr. Whetstone emphasize the fact that it’s okay to ask questions made me come to terms with my self confidence and allow me to be more successful later on.

  • Based on what Mr. Maurice talked about last Thursday, I think the most important take away to me was that you have to gain your respect and respect others the way you want to be treated. In the work world, I think that is very important and it was important to me because I have had two jobs where bosses thought they could talk to me any kind of way. I kind of did what Mr. Maurice did and let them know that I would not tolerate any disrespect and one time I could have been fired. But, like his boss, my boss knew that I was the only person to talk to our district manager like I did.
    I learned that data is very important and is used more than I think in my daily life. He discussed the challenges in his job, as far as in someone coded something wrong and there was no code at all to match the correct one, they would to start over to match new codes. It is important to do all your research and to have the correct knowledge when working with data. He discussed how you have to be careful with the errors in big data because not all data is falsifiable.

  • Laurel,

    Mr. Whetstone’s talk was an interesting one, but there was one key detail that caught my attention. Mr. Whetstone explained how QVC uses REAL TIME data to tailor its broadcasts to its viewers in an attempt to boost sales (aka say, “great value” more, etc). That is some real innovation, I imagine it’s existed in some form leading up to now, nonetheless it’s remarkable where tech has taken us now. I’m respectfully unsure how to tie this into the class material, give me a month and I probably could.

    Zach Simon

  • I think that the most important takeaway from Maurice’s talk was that data is everywhere and can be used for virtual anything. I learned that the way data is used to make decisions over time has changed significantly due to the advent of new technologies, and the way we can use date to help ourselves is numerous. Overall, I learned that data plays an integral role in everyone’s lives.

  • I actually never realized how the run those TV shopping networks. The idea that they looked at word relationship and other smaller things that I probably wouldn’t have thought about. Furthermore, the idea that little things like the boxes could be a piece of information that could save as much money as it did.

  • The entire presentation was active and engaging. I enjoyed to hear the direction the company went towards moving their servers to the cloud. Mr Whestone was aware of the risk of data breach (e.g. in ashley madison) and his solution was that company will go through security protocols of the host company’s servers avoid future date breach. This was a real life security measure against data breach and I was happy to hear about it.

  • For me, a very important take away from the class was about IT Auditing and its tie-up with Data Science. I actually asked him this question in class which is why I was more interested in this topic specifically. It is not super established in his company, a section of IT Auditing but they do have a branch of Cyber Security.

    I think Data is used everywhere because, the company he works for namely QVC stands entirely because of data, and he also commented about Filter Bubble we discussed in class. Meta Data was something he pointed out in the beginning which we learned in the class already. Meta Data is the basic thing that gives the surface or a base for QVC to function to analyze other data and get the works done.

    I don’t recollect much from his presentation though

  • I found the most interesting part of Maurice’s talk to be when he discussed his experience working on real time social media data and implementing it into a live TV broadcast. His teams idea to monitor twitter and use that data to help solve questions and target onto key words to boost sales in real time seemed like a fun problem solving job and a great idea. It seemed too easy in hind sight to monitor real people and use the data they were collecting to help a live TV show. It showed how data can be used simply to boost sales and help customers in rapid time.

  • The most important takeaway from Maurice Whetstone’s talk was how important data analytics can be for every company. Data analytics can improve certain aspects of the company by showing what areas need improvement and how to improve those aspects. Using software like Tableau or R you can see certain trends of companies that will allow the company to make adjustments and improve their overall business structure.

  • In my opinion, the most important takeaway from Maurice Whetstone’s talk was the importance of real-time data. I was intrigued to hear about how his company was able to use the saying of certain words to influence sales. What I learned is that there is a pattern between two separate things and not just one potentially coincidental occurrence, then there may be a relevant correlation.

  • I really enjoyed the guest lecture last Thursday. To me, the most important takeaway was how data can be used in real time to influence consumer decisions. During the lecture, Maurice talked about how QVC has a team dedicated to capturing, organizing, and interpret data to influence consumers through the TV program. Like if the host says “it’s a great deal”, people watching it are more likely to buy the product, or when a lot of viewers have questions about a specific product, the team can identify that and communicate it with the production team so that the host can address it live. I also found very interesting when Maurice mentioned the steps QVC was taking in order to use the cloud, and why only now they saw the necessity to do so.

  • I found the session with Maurice Whetstone very beneficial. Something that stood out to me was the story he told about a member of his team who, after attending a conference, pitched a new platform to automate more functions at the company and collect data from them. He emphasized that nobody asked this person to do this, but by taking initiative, he was able to work on something he was passionate about and get recognized for it.

  • I found it interesting to hear about how data drives so many decisions even with a company that is typically catered to older women buying products from a television show. Also, I was surprised to hear how long data has been used for by QVC. Generally speaking, data analysis seems to be a new field, but in reality it has been applied by leaders in different industries for many years. For someone who works in data, he was a better speaker than I anticipated! His engaging personality had me listening the entire time. I know he has been speaking to this class for many years and I recommend he keep coming back!

  • Looking at the data that you already have and finding out which data sources provide the most valuable information. To analyze the data effectively, you may need integrated systems to connect all the different data sources. In an enterprise, every employee has a responsibility as a CEO to analyze and deal with the questions, making sure running this collective better. Listen to your own voice and always do what you want to do!

  • The most important thing I took away from Maurice Whestone’s talk was that working with data is about efficiency. Nearly everything in the world involves data, but being efficient by using data in ways that give us insights is what data science is about. It is important to ask the right questions and to study your data in ways that may be counterintuitive. Furthermore, data is aids decision making by providing evidence and support. Data can be used to help save a company money or to help a company improve their methods to make more money.

  • Maurice Whetstone was very passionate about his job and the field of data science. Revisiting metadata and how they help his company was very interesting. Hearing about real world business examples on how data science help a company enlightened me about the benefits of organizing data.

  • The biggest takeaway from Maurice Whetstone’s talk to me was his last 15 minutes. It really stuck with him when discussing attitude and only allowing people to treat you how you let them no matter their position within the company. I really enjoyed to hear about how key words used during a pitch increased sales moments after those key words were used. Just using key words as data to increase sales is something I didn’t believe played that big of a role.

  • During the lecture, I learned about the different ways the data is stored, specifically at QVC. I also learned about how the company is switching to the cloud, and laws that prohibit certain actions in that process from taking place. Most importantly, I learned that you should never let anyone treat you how you do not wish to be treated. This means, wherever you are, assert your presence, make yourself known, and earn the the respect of others.

  • The most important lesson I gained from Mr. Whetstone’s talk on Thursday was that others will treat you how you let them treat you. I was surprised by his story of how he directly told his CEO that he would not sugar coat anything and was going to be straightforward. It seems like nothing big to tell someone that you will be honest and truthful with them; but when it is someone who has such control over your career and future, it takes a lot of courage.
    Mr. Whetstone’s talk reinforced the concept and importance of meta-data. QVC uses the metadata they receive to infer what products customers will more likely purchase, at what time, with what key words and at what price. Metadata allowed QVC to track what qualities of a product will make consumers more inclined to make a purchase; and in return they were able to increase their revenue and customer satisfaction.

  • The most impressive thing i noticed that QVC can pick some key wards that move customer by their their analysis. For screen the key words, they observe the most popular words that people used online. I think it is a kind of technology good for both side—- customer and company. Thats what data work efficiency.

  • Maurice Whetstone described how the company he works at, QVC, uses data to provide services to his customers/clients. He also explained how it’s important to have reliable data and how it’s important to secure this data from hackers. In the end, he gave valuable life lessons.
    I think his speech was interesting and he showed the process of how data flows in the company and what technology used to store the data or provide.

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Office Hours

Laurel Miller
11:00am-12:00pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays, Speakman Hall 207F or by appointment.

For student help:

Daniel Moy (ITA) By appointment only. Email: