Trio of MBA students win $30,000 in Adobe Analytics competition

Three MBA students from the David Eccles School of Business won the Adobe Analytics Challenge, taking home the top prize of $30,000.

The three-man Datalyzers team beat 167 teams from 77 schools in the challenge, which grew from 24 participating schools just last year.

“Data analytics have become so important for every business, not only for the data science teams but for every person in an organization who touches data,” said Kevin Fu, public relations manager at Adobe. “We created this challenge to nurture the next generation of data talent.”

Industry drivers have pushed the competition, Fu said, noting that Sony Playstation partnered with Adobe this year to provide students with a challenging customer question that delved into cross-channel insights across the Playstation app and to help enhance gamers’ experience.

Bryant Baird, a member of the winning team that also included Eccles School MBA students Josh Thompson and Andrew Silotti, decided to participate in the challenge because he has always wanted to work for Adobe and enjoys analytics. Baird, who is jointly pursuing a master’s degree in computer science and an MBA, was impressed with Adobe’s predictive analytics capabilities.

“The biggest lesson I learned was the true power of data analytics,” Baird said. “If you can anticipate what consumers are going to do, that’s the most powerful tool and an incredible power.”

He has not had to take out student loans as he has earned his graduate degrees, and the prize money will help him continue that trend as he plans to use it for his last semester’s tuition before he graduates in May 2017.

Data analytics is at the heart of his desired career, and he said Adobe leaders have encouraged him to apply for a career after graduation.

Adobe has hired more than 30 employees directly from the competition, Fu said.Trio of Eccles School MBA students win $30,000 in Adobe Analytics competition

“Students have an opportunity to work with real data like in this case where Sony PlayStation opened up their existing data set and you were able to take on something valuable,” Fu said. “From everything we hear, that is a big value for job seekers. It was a valuable piece to add to their resume.”

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