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MSMR Students Place First in Analytics Challenge

A team of five students from the Broad College of Business MS in Marketing Research part-time program—Pete Charette, Heather Garris, Philip Green, Andy Lisoskie, and Benjamin Peppler—took home first place in the written competition and second overall in the 2017 Sawtooth Software Marketing Analytics Consulting Challenge.

Sawtooth team
Benjamin Peppler, Philip Green, Clay Voorhees, Andy Lisoskie, Pete Charette, and Heather Garris

The team of Spartans outpunched competition from Ohio State University, Brigham Young University, University of Utah, and James Madison University, who had all won local competitions prior to the main event.

“This recognition demonstrates our team’s ability to glean insights from analytics, find creative solutions to business issues, and a level of professional confidence to deliver a compelling presentation. Each of these students brought something unique to the team,” said Clay Voorhees, associate professor of marketing at the Broad College of Business. “Having the ability to think proactively about a business’s problem and adjust research methods accordingly isn’t easy. Our students worked collaboratively, had an excellent presentation, and impressed the judges and corporate partners,” Voorhees said.

The competition requires students, typically at the master’s and graduate level, to use Sawtooth Software’s conjoint analysis (CBC), along with other survey techniques and analytics, to field a case study based on a real business problem supplied by Sylvan Learning.

Unlike many other case competitions, which span one weekend, Sawtooth Software’s took place over a three-month period. Phase I, during January and February, allowed multiple student teams from the same university to conduct their primary research, work that is often incorporated into a course for credit. From there, one team per university and its advisors traveled to Salt Lake City for Phase II, where a panel of judges selects the winners from up to 12 teams. First place receives $3,000, second place $2,000, and third, $1,000. Students also participate in additional classes and hear keynote speeches at the event.


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