Three teams of graduate students presented their analytic findings and recommendations at the recent Business Analytics Fall Showcase. The Georgia Tech Athletic Association and thyssenkrupp Elevator, a member of the Business Analytic Center’s Executive Council, provided the real-world data challenge at the foundation of the semester-long practicum.
“I love teaching this practicum because it’s classic business analytics,” said Professor Keith Werle. “These students were given a vast amount of data. They were challenged to wrangle it into something that made sense, then, at the Showcase, they told the story of the data, using their insights to recommend pathways to positive change. It gives the students relevant experience and gives the client not only valuable insights, but also the chance to work with some of our amazing graduate students before they hit the job market.”
thyssenkrupp Elevator Bid Challenge
For the thyssenkrupp Elevator challenge, two teams studied which variables are most likely to influence a winning job bid.
“I was most impressed by the teams’ ability to sift through a large amount of data in a relatively short time,” said Matt Phillips, thyssenkrupp’s senior director – Pricing. “Not only did they have to understand our business, but also think through which insights would be most applicable to us. Amazing work by both teams.”
The two teams were given the same data set, yet focused on different variables to draw their conclusions and offer recommendations. “Working remotely, these teams had 12 weeks to understand our business model and processes, build relationships to multiple data sources from our data set, cleanse and create models, run their hypotheses with enriched models and deliver recommendations and insights,” said Baha Tevek, field technology leader for thyssenkrupp Elevators North America. “We were highly impressed with both teams and appreciated having two perspectives. Their presentations provided us multiple ideas to enhance our processes at TK Elevator.”
Anna Riehle, a student on one of the thyssenkrupp Elevator teams and vice president of the Business Analytics Club at Georgia Tech will graduate in the spring with both MBA and MSA degrees. “This was the toughest business-oriented analytics project using machine learning techniques that I've taken from beginning to end. This semester taught me so many valuable new skills in data wrangling, modeling, and presenting data. It really has increased my confidence in a number of areas.”
Annick Coulibaly, an MBA candidate set to graduate in December, also worked on the thyssenkrupp project. “I liked how this practicum further developed both my analytical skills and business acumen. It was great to provide business insights after employing hard core analytics.”
Georgia Tech Athletic Association Challenge
One of the fastest growing areas in analytics is sports analytics. Most consider sports analytics to be solely concentrated on enhancing athletic performance, but it also includes improving results in other areas of the sports operation, such as sales, stadium operations and even fan engagement. Students who took part in this challenge were tasked with answering the question: Does digital marketing in the form of email campaigns provide a lift in Georgia Tech home football single game tickets sales and single game ticket attendance?
The student team looked at years of ticket sales and scan data, verifying certain assumptions held by the Athletic Association, but they also went a step further, highlighting data trends and opportunities GT athletics can pursue to increase football ticket revenue and fan attendance.
“We really appreciate the time and efforts our GT students spent analyzing our GT football ticketing data,” said Doug Allvine, GT assistant athletic director – Innovation. “The data validates that digital marketing does work and this particular data analysis can help bring more science and analytics to our decisions. Great job by all the fall practicum students, and thank you to the Business Analytics Center for the opportunity.”
The showcases took place in the evening the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and the following Tuesday. All three teams actually faced technology challenges as their presentations began, but in typical can-do Georgia Tech fashion, the teams hammered out a work around and were able to present their findings to the audience of other practicum students and executives from thyssenkrupp Elevator and the Georgia Tech Athletic Association. A lively Q & A followed each presentation.
“Thank you to both thyssenkrupp and the Georgia Tech Athletic Association. Our students enjoyed working with you and we appreciate your support,” said Werle in his concluding remarks. “And students, be very proud. You represented Scheller and Georgia Tech well. Congratulations on a fantastic job.”