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Mall of America Case and Projects; Ravi Bapna, University of Minnesota
GMSP 3-10-13 University of Minnesota Social Media Director Ravi Bapna


Carlson School of Management
Curtis L. Carlson Chair in Business Analytics and Information Systems; Associate Dean for Executive Education, Academic Director, Carlson Analytics Lab

Ravi Bapna

Curtis L. Carlson Chair in Business Analytics and Information Systems; Associate Dean for Executive Education, Academic Director, Carlson Analytics Lab

Information & Decision Sciences


PhD 1999
Business Administration, Operations & Information Management University of Connecticut

BT 1993
Computer Engineering Manipal Institute of Technology, Mangalore University, India


Social Media

Big Data and Machine Learning

Business Analytics

Online Strategies and Monetization

Online Auctions

Economics of IT

Dr. Ravi Bapna is the Curtis L. Carlson Chair in Business Analytics and Information Systems, Associate Dean for Executive Education and the Academic Director of the Carlson Analytics Lab at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. Bapna''s expertise lies in helping companies leverage datascience, machine learning, AI and business analytics for competitive advantage. Bapna has served as Chief Data Scientist at Mississippi River Capital LLC, a Minneapolis based hedge fund.

His research and scholarship views the emerging digital landscape as a giant global laboratory, a sandbox to gain a deeper causal understanding of how consumers, firms, industries and societies are being reshaped by the bigdata and business analytics revolution. He teaches graduate students, executives, CIOs and CMOs around the world (US, China, India, Austria, Italy and parts of Eastern Europe) on how to thrive in the digital revolution. His professional interests have resulted in research, consulting and executive education engagements with a variety of leading US and Indian companies. He regularly delivers keynote addresses on the leveraging bigdata, analytics and social media to industry bodies and corporations. 

His research interests are in the areas of social media, bigdata analytics, peer influence, monetization and design of Freemium communities, online dating and matching, economics of information systems, human capital issues in the IT services industry, online auctions, emarket design, Grid computing, and the design of the IT organization. His research has been extensively published in a wide array of journals such as Management Science, Informs Journal on Computing, Statistical Science, Information Systems Research, Journal of Retailing, MIS Quarterly, Decision Sciences, CACM, Naval Research Logistics, DSS, EJOR and ITM. His views have featured in the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, Minnesota Public Radio, Star Tribune, LiveMint, India Knowledge @ Wharton, The Economic Times and Business Today.

Professor Bapna has been invited to present his research at the National Bureau of Economic Research, Federal Trade Commission, Facebook, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), Google Inc., Bangalore, Harvard University, The Wharton School, Carnegie Mellon University, New York University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Boston University, University of Maryland, IIMCalcutta, National Chengchi University, Taiwan, University of Washington, National University of Singapore and the University of Connecticut among others. He was invited to give the keynote address for the 13th International Conference on Electronic Commerce 2011, Liverpool, UK.

Bapna served as a senior editor for MIS Quarterly from 20102016 and has been an associate editor for Management Science and Information Systems Research. He has served as the cochair of the prestigious Workshop on Information Systems Economics (WISE) 2010 and 2014, and the Conference on IS and Technology (CIST) 2009. He is one of the three founders of the Statistical Challenges in ECommerce (SCECR) workshop. He regularly serves on program committees of major international IS conferences and workshops.

Bapna was the founding academic codirector (with Professor Joe Konstan) of University of Minnesota''s Social Media and Business Analytics Collaborative (SOBACO), an interdisciplinary research center conducting research at the intersection of social media and bigdata analytics. Prior to joining Carlson, Bapna was a tenured associate professor at the Indian School of Business and the University of Connecticut. He served as the Executive Director of the Srini Raju Centre for Information Technology and the Networked Economy (SRITNE) at the Indian School of Business, where he founded  the CIO Academy. At UConn Bapna was an Associate Professor and Ackerman Scholar in the Operations and Information Management Department at the School of Business.

Professor Bapna completed his Bachelors in Commerce from St. Xavier''s College, Calcutta, Bachelors in Computer Engineering from the Manipal Institute of Technology and received his doctorate degree from the University of Connecticut, where his thesis was in the area of Information Systems.


Selected Works

Bapna, R., J.Ramaprasad, A. Umyarov. 2017, “Monetizing Freemium Communities: Does Paying for Premium increase Social Engagement?” forthcoming, MIS Quarterly

Burtch, Gordon and Hong, Yili and Bapna, Ravi and Griskevicius, Vladas, 2016, “Stimulating Online Reviews by Combining Financial Incentives and Social Norms” Forthcoming, Management Science.

Bapna, R., Qiu, L., Rice, S., 2016 “Repeated Interactions vs. Social Ties: Quantifying the Economic Value of Trust, Forgiveness, and Reputation Using a Field Experiment, forthcoming in MIS Quarterly.

Bapna, R., Gupta, A., Sundararajan, A., Rice, S., 2016, “Trust, Reciprocity and the Strength of Friendship Ties: Experiments on an Online Social Network,” forthcoming at MIS Quarterly.

Bapna, R., J.Ramaprasad, G. Shmueli, A. Umyarov. 2015. “One Way Mirrors in Online Dating: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment,” forthcoming in Management Science.

Current Activities

Current Research

I''m fascinated by the fact that the current incarnation of the IT revolution has resulted in a billion people connected globally on the social graph, and five billion people with mobile connectivity. I view this billionstrong API enabled social graph, as a global laboratory, where we can ask fundamental questions about human behavior and develop causal inferences about the same. Questions such as detecting and potentially maximizing peer influence for desirable outcomes, developing realtime revealed preference style measures of trust and reciprocity from activity on Facebook, or looking at the role of search costs in mitigating social failures in online dating. From a methodology perspective, I''m currently biased towards randomized trials in realworld platforms.

Indian School of Business (ISB)

Ravi Bapna is a Chair Professor of Business Analytics and IS, Associate Dean of Executive Education, & Academic Director of the Carlson Analytics Lab. He is a global authority on social influence and engagement, and teaches executives, CIOs and CMOs how to leverage the digital revolution for competitive advantage. He has vast AI, ML and analytics consulting experience and regularly gives keynotes on demystifying AI, digital marketing and digital transformation. He was recently recognized as an INFORMS ISS Distinguished Fellow.

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