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IBM-Smith “Business Value with Analytics” Case Competition Winners Show Canadian Retailers the Way to Success

The winning team of MMA’16 students, from left, Simon Campbell, Errol Muirhead, Brandon Hewitt, BSc(Eng’15), and Steven Wu, MPA’13.

After an intensive eight-week marathon of business case exploration, collaboration and competition, the team that best answered the question “What can analytics do for Canadian retailers?” was announced on Nov. 21. A team of Smith Master of Management Analytics (MMA) Class of 2016 students won the $5,000 grand prize. 

The competition was open to students from Smith School of Business MBA, MMA and Commerce programs. This was the first of what will be an annual series entitled “Business Value with Analytics” — a joint IBM-Smith initiative. After initially focusing on the Canadian retail industry, the spotlight will shift to different sectors of the economy in subsequent years. 

The pre-competition IBM Analytics Boot Camp and Retail Analytics Panel in September featured retail industry and IBM executives and analytics specialists, including an IBM Watson Analytics expert (yes, as in Watson, the cognitive computer that competed on Jeopardy!). During the preliminary round in October and in the finals on November 21, teams made their business case presentations to judging panels comprised of Smith School of Business faculty, alumni, IBM and industry experts.

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