The Fall 2021 Business Analytics Practicum Project Showcase returned to a live format after a two-year Covid hiatus with resounding success. Three teams of MBA and MSA students spent the semester analyzing a business challenge, then presented their analytic insights to both their peers and business analytics leaders at the live Showcase.
“Having the opportunity to work collaboratively with other students to solve a real-world business problem, while utilizing many of the skills taught in previous analytics courses, was an incredibly valuable experience,” said Andrew Smith, an Evening MBA student.
Two of the teams worked on a holiday call center forecasting challenge, while the third team worked on a skilled nursing facility Covid 19 challenge based on a research study by Georgia Tech Professor Daniel Weagley.
“This fall’s Business Practicum Showcase demonstrated the best of graduate business analytics education,” said BAC Managing Director Keith Werle who taught the class. “The students successfully tackled tough analytics challenges, coming up with clear, conclusive recommendations—and then confidently and accurately were able to discuss those findings with business analytics leaders in the audience.”
Veritiv and BAC Executive Council members NCR, TK Elevator, King & Spalding, and UPS sent representatives to take part in the Showcase and evaluate the presentations.
“I’ve been attending these showcases since 2014 and I’ve seen more and more complexity year after year,” said Ivan Alvarez, VP Big Data and Enterprise Analytics at NCR. “This year’s students took it to new heights. They did a great job, utilizing machine learning and other tools and coming up with creative solutions to some extremely difficult business challenges.”
Student participants included -
The Call Center Cohort: Jaya Chakrabori, Andrew Smith, Barry Weaver, and Amber Arthur. Not pictured: Muhammad Murtza.
Holiday Master Modelers: Brett Johnson, Mildred Salinas, Shaye Zhang, and Penglu Wen.
Nursing Home Detectives: Emily Grant, James Domingo, Rankin Bohan, Allison Maloney, and Braden Medders.
"The Data Analytics Practicum class taught me how to handle ambiguity, ask the right questions, and be creative about problem-solving,” said MBA Candidate Shaye Zhang. “The showcase in front of an audience that included UPS analytics team members who wrestle daily with similar challenges was a fantastic way to end the semester-long project!”
After their presentations, the teams fielded questions from executives and faculty. In addition to those watching in person, several Georgia Tech faculty and business analytics leaders joined in the showcase and discussions online.
Baha Tevek, head of sales – North America for TK Elevator attended the showcase in person. “The students did a fantastic job. They came up with big results in a very small amount of time. The lessons they learned are very relatable to life and daily business. I was very impressed with both their results and their presentations.”
After the event, the students networked with the corporate representatives at a dinner celebrating the end of the class.
“I was really proud of all of the students and how they represented Scheller,” concluded Werle. “It was an honor and pleasure to work with them.”