Business cards are a valuable piece of paper that allow businesses to manage their own identity, as well as communicate with each other and with customers.
The Harvard Business Press is using the cardholder data it collects from Harvard Business College’s Business Card Management Lab to build a new platform that will allow businesses and their customers to track how and why they spend money and to understand how their card has changed over time.
The company will work with cardholder and third-party data partners to develop an open source data repository that will be open to the public.
“Our mission is to make the world a better place for everyone,” said Mark Fenton, a co-founder of the Harvard Business Group, in a statement.
“As part of this mission, we are building a new digital platform that enables businesses and customers to create an open, collaborative, and data-driven way to share their data, track trends and understand what works and what doesn’t.
The new platform will enable business owners and customers alike to leverage Harvard Business Cards to drive the transformation of their businesses, from research and insights, to customer insights, analytics, marketing, customer acquisition and engagement, and business process improvement.”
Harvard Business School Dean of Engineering Richard H. Miller, along with Harvard Business Publishers Dean Michael Fenton and Harvard Business Media Executive Director Chris D. Burden, will lead the Harvard-Harvard collaboration.
The project will be funded through a $50 million venture capital investment in the Harvard Group, including a $10 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Harvard Business will work closely with the Harvard Digital Business Lab, which includes a research center that will use the Harvard cardholder dataset to build an open data platform.
“Harvard Business will use these unique resources to provide the Harvard group with an open platform that allows businesses to connect, share, and track their data across all Harvard Business Schools, departments, programs, and services,” Miller said.
“This new platform is built on Harvard’s rich history of working to create open data and the skills and insights needed to support the mission.”
Harvard has an impressive record of leveraging digital resources and platforms.
Last year, the university received $1.3 billion in federal grant funding to build the Harvard Initiative to Enable the Advancement of Digital Learning, which is focused on helping schools to create new tools for students to engage in digital learning, create new businesses, and learn from each other.
Harvard also recently announced that it is using data from its Digital Health Initiative to provide health information to doctors, which will be used to help physicians better understand the symptoms of a variety of diseases and improve treatment.