2014 Best Practices in Business Analytics Symposium

Companies learned how they can transform their organizations into data science-driven enterprises at the Business Analytics Symposium hosted by the College of Business Center for Business Analytics on October 17 in Olscamp Hall 101. “Big Data” has become an important buzz word for business executives who are taking data and learning how to utilize it so they can make better decisions.

A seasoned leader of analytics initiatives at Pivotal and formerly at Yahoo!, Annika Jimenez, shared her expertise with attendees of the symposium. She discussed the value of data collection and applying it to solve complex business problems.

Also providing valuable insight was a panel of analytics experts -

  • Bob Harman, Global Lean Six Sigma Leader, Owen-Illinois
  • Shane Klumb, Senior Manager, Eaton
  • Jacob Loeffelholz, Ph.D., Director, Advanced Analytics, The Perduco Group

Following the speakers, three teams of students presented their findings to a case they worked on over the summer.   The first place team selected at the Symposium was composed of graduate students from the BGSU Mathematics and Statistics Department – Xiao Xiao, John Harman, Yang Liu, and Ying-Ju Chen – and they were advised by faculty member Dr. Jim Albert from that department.

The case asked student teams to use information on 11 socio-demographic variables (age, religious denomination, marital status, etc.) and the number of purchases of 11 different insurance products (auto, property, fire, etc.) to predict whether or not a (census) block of customers would be good candidates to purchase a life insurance product.  In addition to the statistical prediction task, students were asked to interpret the results for a marketing professional, providing clear insight to why certain blocks are more likely to purchase a life insurance policy and how these customers are different from other customers.