Business Analytics

Research topics

  • Pricing and revenue management

    • Markdown management
      The goal of markdown management is to find the timing and magnitude of price reductions that move the inventory while maximizing revenue.
    • Customized pricing
      The goal is to establish the optimal trade-offs between volume and return, while at the same time achieving company objectives for portfolio risk and composition. Currently, Dries Benoit is investigating opportunities for customized pricing in the credit/loan industry. This investigation should set the scene for further, more applied, research in this area.
  • Customer Tracking

    Tracking of customers in shop environments is the third major wave in marketing intelligence. This wave provides the technological breakthroughs for investigating the effects of situational variables (store lay-out, pricing and promotions, etc.) on client behavior in order to optimize customer experience and eventually sales.

    • Focus on data collection and modeling approaches
      At this moment, we are working on a shopping center-dataset  investigating different modeling approaches for this dataset (e.g. network analysis, sequence analysis).
    • Focus on integration with other data sources
      From a pricing/promotions point of view, path data contains very valuable information about the effects in terms of customer flow caused by the promotion. The traveling salesman approach could answer this kind of questions.
  • Bayesian Econometrics

    • Quantile regression
      Having worked on this topic for more than five years, the interest has shifted to a related but different field (see topic 2: Robust statistics).
    • Robust statistics
      Because the field of robust Bayesian estimation is very new, there are many research opportunities in this area. Related to this model are multivariate and seemingly unrelated regression models and also panel datasets or time series. The plan is to robustify these models.
  • Social Media

    • Media Data as add-on to CRM Data
      We completed an internal (CRM, attendance data) and external (Facebook) data collection at a European soccer team.
  • Data Augmentation

    • Exploring the potential of open data for geo marketing
      The availability of open data is growing in the European Union. We explore the potential of these data sources for investment decisions and new customer acquisition.
    • Exploring the potential of voice data
      In cooperation with a call center, we collected hundreds of thousands of voice recordings, which will be linked to other company data.
  • Big Data

    • Building new parallel big data algorithms
      Single-core computational speed increases have stalled lately (“end of Moore’s law”). Hence, to achieve speedups, researchers are actively looking to parallelize algorithms. The Apache Spark platform offers a suitable framework to this end to deal with massive amounts of data.  We are actively contributing to this field in the domain of ensemble classification models. This builds on our significant track record of contributing to the open course software community.


  • Dirk Van den Poel
    Analytical CRM, database marketing, predictive analytics, optimization, prescriptive analytics, heuristic methods
  • Dries Benoit
    Analytical CRM, database marketing, Bayesian statistics