Adobe and T-Mobile Crown Winner of Analytics Challenge
After six weeks, one hundred colleges and over a thousand students, the “Red Bulls” from the University of Utah took home the top prize at the Adobe Analytics Challenge. Cameron Rigby, Chandler Bush and Phillip Fuchs — all first-year students in Utah’s full-time MBA program — impressed a panel of judges with fresh thinking and strategic ideas. They were followed by a runner-up team from the University of California, Davis and third-place Georgetown in what has become the biggest, and most lucrative business case competition in the country. In all, $60,000 were handed out in cash and prizes.
This year, Adobe partnered with T-Mobile to give students an opportunity to analyze real, enterprise-grade data from a major brand. They received training in Adobe Analytics and leveraged the tool to dig into T-Mobile’s data over the span of several weeks. For the first time this year, students were also exposed to AI and machine learning features from anomaly detection to contribution analysis — available as a means to automate certain analysis and guide critical thinking.
For the final rounds, students were invited to the Adobe Lehi campus. On a Friday morning In front of a judging panel that included Giles Richardson (vice president of digital journeys at T-Mobile), Val Niehaus (senior manager of professional services at Adobe), John Koetsier (columnist at Forbes and Inc. Magazine), Hila Dahan (co-founder of 33 Stick), and Adam Greco (partner at Analytics Demystified), teams were tasked with presenting ways to enhance the experience of T-Mobile customers and drive efficiencies for the brand.
Presentations from the six teams varied widely, but the best presentations stood out for their ability to not only tell a compelling story from the data, but to also provide actionable recommendations that would drive tangible value. In fact, the winning team proposed a change to the customer’s digital journey that could potentially improve conversion rates and increase revenue by several million dollars.
Beyond the spotlights and giant cardboard checks, this competition is still firmly rooted in its original goals: to develop the next generation of data savvy practitioners. Over the years, tens of thousands of students have been trained to use advanced analytics tools to understand real-world business problems. Many have been hired by the participating brands as well. These students help show that data science need not be rocket science, while drawing light to the massive talent gap that still exists in the job market.