Competitive Benchmarking: An IS Research Approach to Address Wicked Problems with Big Data and Analytics

42 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2015

See all articles by Wolfgang Ketter

Wolfgang Ketter

University of Cologne - Institute of Energy Economics; Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Department of Technology and Operations Management; Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

Markus Peters

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM)

John Collins

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Alok Gupta

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Carlson School of Management

Date Written: December 7, 2015

Abstract

Wicked problems like sustainable energy and financial market stability are societal challenges that arise from complex socio-technical systems in which numerous social, economic, political, and technical factors interact. Understanding and mitigating them requires research methods that scale beyond the traditional areas of inquiry of Information Systems (IS) “individuals, organizations, and markets” and that deliver solutions in addition to insights. We describe an approach to address these challenges through Competitive Benchmarking (CB), a novel research method that helps interdisciplinary research communities to tackle complex challenges of societal scale by using different types of data from a variety of sources such as usage data from customers, production patterns from producers, public policy and regulatory constraints, etc. for a given instantiation. Further, the CB platform generates data that can be used to improve operational strategies and judge the effectiveness of regulatory regimes and policies. We describe our experience applying CB to the sustainable energy challenge in the Power Trading Agent Competition (Power TAC) in which more than a dozen research groups from around the world jointly devise, benchmark, and improve IS-based solutions.

Keywords: Benchmarking, Big Data Analytics, Design Science, Energy Information Systems, Research Competitions, Smart Grids, Sustainability, Virtual Worlds

Suggested Citation

Ketter, Wolfgang and Peters, Markus and Collins, John and Gupta, Alok, Competitive Benchmarking: An IS Research Approach to Address Wicked Problems with Big Data and Analytics (December 7, 2015). MIS Quarterly; ERIM Report Series Reference No. ERS-2015-015-LIS. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2700333 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2700333

Wolfgang Ketter (Contact Author)

University of Cologne - Institute of Energy Economics ( email )

Alte Wagenfabrik
Vogelsanger Strasse 321a
Cologne, 50827
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://ewi.uni-koeln.de/en/

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Department of Technology and Operations Management ( email )

RSM Erasmus University
PO Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.rsm.nl/energy

Markus Peters

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) ( email )

Rotterdam
Netherlands

John Collins

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities ( email )

420 Delaware St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

Alok Gupta

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Carlson School of Management ( email )

19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

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