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Two award winning papers based on MSOM data driven research challenge

  • 1.  Two award winning papers based on MSOM data driven research challenge

    Posted 11-16-2019 00:14

    Two award winning papers based on the 2018 MSOM Data Driven Research Challenge!

    In 2018, Cainiao (Alibaba's logistics arm) and the MSOM society worked together to enable MSOM members access to Cainiao's Transaction level data so that they can conduct data driven research.  (For details, please see:   By providing real data to researchers, I am delighted to learn that many researchers have conducted different research projects and published different papers.  More importantly, it has brought to my attention that the following two award winning papers:

    1. Robert Bray (Northwestern University) – "Operational Transparency: Showing When Work Gets Done". First Prize Winner of the 2018 MSOM data driven research challenge.

      This paper is forthcoming in M&SOM.  Robert Bray examines how customers respond to operational transparency with parcel delivery data from Cainiao Network, the logistics arm of Alibaba. The sample comprises 4.68 million deliveries. Each delivery has between four and ten track-package activities, which customers can check in real time and provide delivery service scores.   He established empirical evidence that customers punish "early idleness" less than "late idleness", leaving higher delivery service scores when track-package activities cluster toward the end of the shipping horizon.
    2. Ruomeng Cui (Emory University), Meng Li and Qiang Li (Rutgers University) – "Value of High-Quality Logistics: Evidence from a Clash between SF and Alibaba." Second Prize Winner of the 2019 INFORMS Junior Faculty Interest Group (JFIG) Paper Competition.

      This paper is forthcoming in Management Science.  Ruomeng, Meng and Qiang examine how much customers value a high-quality delivery experience when shopping online. They study a natural shock during which the delivery service is unexpectedly disrupted for 42 hours in June 2017 on Alibaba. This resulted in SF Express, the largest private logistics service provider with the highest reputation in delivery quality in China, unexpectedly being removed as a shipping option from Alibaba's retail platform. They analyze 129,448 representative stock-keeping units (SKUs) and their associated 14 million transactions over 20 days around the clash. The authors establish the empirical evidence that the lack of access to a high-quality and trusted shipper reduced sales by 14.56% during the clash, increased the contribution of long-tail to total sales --- sales dispersion --- by 3%, but did not impact the variety and logistics rating of sold products.
    This is very encouraging news.  Now, let us continue to explore the 2020 MSOM Data Research Challenge with -- the largest Chinese e-retailers.   Existing MSOM members can gain access to the data -- see MSOM society event web page for details!

    Thank you,

    Christopher Tang
    University of California-Los Angeles
    Los Angeles CA