Unleashing Big Ideas on Big Data


The term data science has been around for more than 30 years, but now more than ever it’s a hot field. We are generating a ton of data from our phones, tablets, smart watches and more and businesses are struggling to figure out how to use it to connect with their customers. Data science is at the heart of digital marketing – and for us, it’s fueling Adobe Marketing Cloud.

That’s one of the reasons why we’re eager to help advance data science research with leading universities. One way we’re doing this is through the Adobe Data Science Symposium, an annual event that brings together professors and students from leading universities to present research and discuss the use of data science in marketing. Our next event will take place at our headquarters in San Jose on May 26.

As part of this event, we provide support of up to $50,000 to fund a university faculty research program that promotes the understanding and use of data science projects in the areas of media optimization, analytics, social media and more. Grant recipients will have the opportunity to work with our researchers at our facilities and will present their proposals at the Data Science Symposium. Full-time university faculty are invited to submit proposals. The next submission deadline is February 19.

We’ve offered grants for the past four years and have been impressed with the results. For instance, one grant-winning project produced new mathematical models we used to improve the personalization and performance of marketing content. Another project developed a new algorithm that identifies anomalies, allowing brands to better understand the performance of advertising and optimize ad spend.”

UC Santa Cruz professor Lise Getoor received the Adobe Faculty Award in 2014 for her research on “Cross-Device Graph-Based Entity Resolution.” She’s now working with us on a project exploring ways to link the interactions of people online so marketers can serve up more customized results.

“What we’re doing right now is exciting. And it’s the just tip of the iceberg — there are tons more opportunities for working collaboratively with industry on data science research,” Lise said. “As an academic you can try and think up real-world problems but it’s much, much better to work with companies that have real-world problems.”

In the field of data science, size matters and our customer base provides access to data from the 41 trillion transactions and 4.1 trillion rich media requests conducted with Adobe Marketing Cloud last year. This data provides a unique opportunity for universities to develop both theoretical and empirical solutions to marketing problems.

NYU professor Anindya Ghose, who won the 2015 Adobe Faculty Research Award for research on “Combining Machine Learning with Randomized Field Experiments to Improve Mobile Advertising” commented, “Winning the grant helped us complete crucial components of the data collection and analyses of the project. It is a massive validation of research in location-based mobile advertising.”

Adding his thoughts to the importance of the grants, Anil Kamath, fellow and vice president, Technology at Adobe noted, “We’re seeing talented professors and students making incredible advances in data science, and are thrilled to launch our fourth Adobe Digital Marketing Research Awards to help further their research. By exchanging ideas and research between Adobe and universities, we’ll jointly push the boundaries of how data science is used in digital.”