“This collaboration with VistaKlub, a first for Business Schools first, provided students with the opportunity to discover and test an innovative data analysis and visualisation device. This start-up has twice been a French Tech ambassador at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas, in 2019 and 2020,” explains Othman Boujena, Associate Professor of Marketing and Head of the Database Management and Reporting Level 2 Module.
Tony Alibelli, CEO, was also accompanied by Neal Lausson, R&D Developer, both technophiles and engineers. They were highly passionate as they explained the solution, its functions and its qualities.
“We advocate an “Enjoy technology” approach,” explains Tony Alibelli. “That is to say, focus on the pleasant and sensory aspects of technology first and foremost. The idea is to make this type of device accessible to more people and therefore available to a wider and more diverse population with very different experience and backgrounds. And you are the first business school on board!” he explains before presenting the VistaKlub concept.
An experiential immersion in the world of data with a people-centred and gamification approach.
VistaKlub is a start-up created from scientific research. “This is an area students tend to see as being somewhat disconnected from professional life. The presentation also provided a perfect opportunity to demonstrate the close ties that often exist between scientific, and sometimes fundamental, research and innovation,” says Othman Boujena.
The concept of the presented programme is based on one main principle: to make data intelligible to decision-makers in a Big Data context, including those who have no real interest in numbers. “It’s all about the visualisation of data. We’ve spent a lot of time considering design issues and the degree to which the data we need to exploit is difficult to digest,” explains Tony Alibelli.
VistaKlub proposes a gamified vision of data, combining virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality, all in a graphic universe inspired by Star Wars and Minority Report. Immersion is achieved using a virtual reality headset and Splunk technology, which links the database to its representation.
“Once you have the headset on, you find yourself in a 3D universe, where you can move documents, analyse and visualise data, graphs and charts. The experience is much more fun. And although surprising at first, we remain convinced that the data is understood better. It becomes intuitive and natural, almost sensory,” said the CEO of VistaKlub.
An avant-garde start-up and a successful encounter with the future
The reaction of the students as they test VistaKlub is unanimous. “I was really looking forward to seeing how it worked inside,” says one of the MS Marketing and Data Analytics students. “It’s bold, innovative, creative… It’s like being in Alice in Wonderland!”
“Tony and Neal’s presentation and the simulation were really instructive,” adds Othman Boujena. “The system is a real achievement: today many employees are inundated with data and often struggle to find how to identify and solve problems. But the challenge lies in cognitive processing and the production of meaning to envisage effective action by managers. The curiosity of these Advanced Master MDA students will certainly have been aroused by the experience, whilst also giving them a head-start,” concludes Othman Boujena.