“Everyone gathers data about everyone”: Vadim Merkulov from MegaFon told students about big data

On May 29 Master Program Open Door day took place at GSOM SPbU. This time the meeting was organized in a forum format: the guests were able to talk to GSOM students and graduates, had the opportunity to try to pass flash interview and learned how to prepare for other exams. In the middle of the evening Vadim Merkulov, the director of the cluster for business development on mass market in telecom company MegaFon and the representative of the council of the educational program MiBA told students about big data.


The meeting began with the presentation of master programs. Academic directors of MPM, MIM, MCF, MiBA, as well as language coordinator of CEMS explained students the advantages of each of them.


MiBA is a new program that opened this year. Master in Business Analytics and Big Data (MiBA) was developed together with representatives of IBM, Mail.ru, MegaFon, PwC, Segmento, Doc + and Mechanica AI. The representative of the MiBA council Vadim Merkulov from MegaFon told students why big data is so popular now, what does this term mean and how to apply big data in business.


According to Vadim Merkulov, three main mobile operators in Russia already have special analytical departments that are working with big data, because its analysis is a way to increase the efficiency of the company. “Everything is simple. For example, we have information about 10 subscribers, this is one type of information, about 100 is a different case. If we have 83 million subscribers in our database, and we know all information about them in dynamics, we can extract some data and speak with certainty about this or that phenomenon, make a subscriber some offer that, as we think, will work. So we will be able to increase our operational efficiency and reduce advertising costs,” explained Vadim Merkulov.


He noted that now every industry is engaged in data gathering and analysis - banks, IT and telecom companies and governments. For example, MegaFon uses big data to fight the outflow of the users, social networks like Facebook wouldn’t be able to make contextual advertising without big data analysis and governments use it to track down terrorists.


“The key to efficiency will be in knowledge extracted from big data,” said Vadim Merkulov. However the professionals who can understand the essence of big data and communicate with customers are in demand, he explained. And, according to him, new GSOM program MiBA will prepare such professionals.  “MiBA is a mix of knowledge in mathematics and management,” said Vadim Merkulov. Talking about why he decided to join MiBA Council Vadim Merkulov said that he had been interviewing students from different Universities in St. Petersburg for eight years now and the quality of GSOM students is the best. “This is the School I would’ve entered,” he concluded.