From Data to Insight: 12-Hour Competition Puts Problem Solving to Practice

Datathon Winners 2016

LeBow’s Business Analytics program held its second Dragon Datathon in fall 2016 for graduate students to complete hands-on data challenges. The rigorous 12-hour event brought together seven competing teams of students tasked with translating data into qualitative, actionable insights. Using open-source datasets, teams were required to turn a business problem into a series of statistical questions, design a technical approach and analyze data to develop a solution.

Student teams presented to an industry judging panel comprised of LeBow alumni:

  • Steve Hoover, Christiana Care Health, MS Business Analytics ‘15
  • Obusom Okafor, Deloitte, MS Business Analytics ‘15
  • Prashanth Vajjhala, Nielsen, MS Business Analytics ‘14
  • Ananth Bevinahally, GLOBO, BS Economics ‘15
  • Yue Wang, Radian, MS Business Analytics ‘15

The alumni panel judged teams based on their technical analysis, technical challenges, solutions, limitations, insights and overall presentation of tactics used.

Pramod Abichandani, PhD, served as the faculty advisor for the competition, providing preparation and oversight for students participating in the event.

“For a business analyst, the key to solving complex business problems lies in the ability to apply mathematics, software, and critical thinking,” said Abichandani. “The datathon challenges our students to do exactly that.”

The winning team was comprised of six students in the MS in Business Analytics program:

  • Andrew Cameron ‘16
  • Tareck El Wazzan ‘17
  • Rahul Sharma ‘17
  • Kannan Srinivasan ‘17
  • Xiaolei Zheng ‘17
  • Srujan Kumar Reddyreddy ‘16

“In less than 12 hours, students transitioned from learning about a challenge to modeling and solving it,” said Abichandani. “Working in teams allowed them to realize their own strengths and the strengths of their teammates. At LeBow, we call this analytics capital, and the teams of students who invested their analytics capital well ultimately won.”

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