Feature Stories


Message from the Dean

In all absolute terms, data is powerful. Its uses are limitless, and it can be repurposed to suit any need. Along with providing incredible insights, the collection of facts can tell a story about the past and the present, and even predict the future. For this reason, the value of data is said to be greater than oil and gold. 

In this issue, we explore what data means to businesses today. By making a deep dive into the world of data, we try to understand its massive potential, and learn how it can contribute to the development of applications and open up new business models. With this in mind, we spoke to leaders and experts who discussed their experiences and the challenges they face as they navigate their way through an age of data-led world.

To introduce the issue, we interviewed the Office of Government Chief Information Office (OGCIO) and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (PCPD), some of Hong Kong’s foremost innovators and gatekeepers. Victor LAM, the Government Chief Information Officer, talks about the benefits of a Smart City and how Hong Kong is embracing technology and data to succeed as “Asia’s World City”, while the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data Ada CHUNG explains how the public and businesses should handle personal data.

Turning to the private sector, we hear from our Kellogg-HKUST EMBA and MBA alumni who now work for the highly successful global and local companies Google and HKTVmall. Michael YUE, General Manager of Sales and Operations of Google HK, talks about the incredible potential of data, and Jelly ZHOU, CEO (HK) of HKTVmall, shares her experience of growing a business using the power of information and data analytics.

With great power comes great responsibility, and big data presents a host of ethical concerns. We went overseas to get some views from Søren Jørgensen, Director of the Responsible Digital Leadership Project at Stanford University, who has been working on a project that helps industries foster an ethical attitude. Frankie TAM, a tech lawyer in Hong Kong who has also involved in the project along with our students, talks about identifying ethical dilemmas that arise from technology.

On the educational front, our School is proud to play a central role in nurturing professionals for a digital era. Our dedicated faculty and research centers have been working in different but related fields. In this issue, they share their insights via a series of articles looking at how data fits into the bigger picture of society and business.

From the Center for Business and Social Analytics, Professor HUI Kai-Lung, Professor Allen HUANG and Dr LIM Hyungsoo co-authored an article about how big data can help solve social problems and aid businesses. Professor Lancelot JAMES, our Director of MSc in Business Analytics, presents his views from the perspective of an educator. Accounting Professor YOU Haifeng explains why computers are not ready to replace human intelligence, while Marketing Professor LIU Jia discusses the importance of data analytics in her field. We also hear from our Economics faculty Professor HUANG Yangguang, and he demonstrates how online reviews can improve market efficiency and consumer welfare.

With such a wide range of views and perspectives, we feel this issue can help to better prepare businesses and society as they navigate the world of big data.

Professor TAM Kar Yan