University of Minnesota
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About SOBACO
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Where Social Media, Social Computing, and Data Analytics Intersect

Social media and Big Data have forever changed how people communicate, work, play, do business, organize communities, and engage with one another in nearly all spheres of society. More than a billion people are now connected on the online social graph. This has created a new kind of "lab" for researchers to gain new insight into fundamental human constructs like trust, peer influence, altruism, reputation, and decision-making. At the same time, our increasingly digital world raises new questions about system design, commerce, data privacy, and other issues.

Together at the Forefront of Knowledge

Launched in 2012, the Social Media and Business Analytics Collaborative (SOBACO) builds on two decades of work in social computing. With top ratings in computer science, engineering, management, and decision sciences, the University of Minnesota is home to faculty researchers from across disciplines. SOBACO combines these University strengths with the real-world business challenges, domain expertise, and unique data sets of our industry partners. This collaborative relationship sparks new thinking and creates a place for innovative ideas to incubate. Together, we co-create new knowledge and business value for today’s data-rich, socially networked world.

Interdisciplinary Perspectives

SOBACO is a University-wide research initiative, supported by the Carlson School of Management, the College of Science and Engineering, and University President Eric Kaler and Provost Karen Hanson. Professors Ravi Bapna and Joseph Konstan serve as co-directors for the collaborative. Participating faculty come from schools and departments across campus, representing diverse disciplines. Among them: computer science, information and decision sciences, economics, engineering, psychology, marketing, journalism, law, and public policy.