Web Research Project For An American Business School

The client:

An American business school

Client background:

The said business school is more than a century old and is one of the most prestigious and famous, not just in the USA, but in the entire world. It offers a much sought after MBA course, doctoral programs and many executive education programs. Its alumni include a former American President and an Indian Finance Minister. Currently, it has about two-thousand students enrolled in its MBA program. It is affiliated to an equally prestigious Ivy League university.

Project requirement:

To research education history, gender, ethnicity, past employment, etc. of a number of venture capital investors using Google and social networking websites.

The challenges:
  • The number of venture capital investors needed to be researched was very large, about 15000. Further, as specified above, the information that had to be gathered on them was very elaborate.
  • All the information, since it was meant for a research program funded by the business school, had to be one hundred per cent accurate. There was no margin of error.
  • Often, to verify information gathered from one site, we had to visit other sites. This added to the complexity of the task.
  • On many occasions, not all the information on an individual was yielded by one site. It had all to be collated from multiple websites.
The solution:

The solution offered by us was web research. We put together four teams of web research professionals, each with five members. Three of these teams researched and gathered the relevant information while the fourth team verified it. In each of these teams there were professionals specializing in mining data from social networking sites. Besides Google, we also made extensive use of meta search engines and meta crawlers such Dogpile, Clusty, Zapmeta, Clusty, Ixquick, SurfWax etc. To ensure that one team does not duplicate work already done by another, the project was overseen and coordinated by a dedicated Project Manager. We turned around the project quickly and completely to the satisfaction of our client.

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