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Practicum Projects

Practicum Projects

UC Davis Master of Science in Business Analytics practicum projects create a powerful learning experience by bringing company partners together with MSBA student teams and globally ranked faculty advisors to solve real-world projects. During the one-year course, you will work as part of a team to solve complex data analytics problems and then present your recommendations to the client company.

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Air Safety Institute – NASA

2019-2020

Air Safety Institute (ASI) is devoted to improving the safety of pilots in the field of general aviation (GA) through industry-leading research. The fatal accidents affect everyone in the field deeply and the situation is calling for more analysis on the untapped accident report, the NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) database.

Therefore, it is collaborating with MSBA students to analyze and determine causal factors for problematic phenomena in general aviation using Natural Language Processing. Leveraging descriptive, diagnostic, and predictive analysis, the student team helps ASI lower the KPI of this practicum which is the number of fatal accidents, by formulating operational and policy recommendations arising from the preceding analysis.

Angel Flight West - Operations Analytics

2020-2021

Angel Flight West (AFW) is a non-profit volunteer-centric organization that provides medical transportation to passengers over 12 states in the western U.S. Now in its third consecutive year of partnership, AFW is relying on this year's MSBA team to continue AFW's data-driven effort to improve its unique sharing economy models and processes. The twin challenges are more effectively utilizing existing resources - mainly, AFW's volunteer pilot members and airline partners—and improving service reliability and quality—that is, serving more people in need.

2019-2020

Angel Flight West (AFW) is a non-profit organization that provides medical transportation to passengers in need. The AFW Operations team is working to increase resource utilization and reduce the number of flight cancellations for AFW through predictive modeling.

The team’s project scope includes applying data manipulation techniques and machine learning methods to develop, analyze and implement models for the organization’s operation system. 

Asian Art Museum

2019-2020

The Asian Art Museum (AAM) is home to one of the world’s finest collection of Asian art with an expansive permanent collection and dynamic special exhibitions and public programs. AAM is currently undergoing a $90 million expansion project set to complete in 2020. The MSBA team is supporting AAM during this expansion by developing a statistical model to help predict attendance for special exhibitions, allowing the museum to better meet yearly earned revenue goals while maximizing public engagement with the museum’s art and cultural programs.

Autodesk

2018-2019

Adoption Analytics in Enterprise Software

Continuing the work begun last year, students this year are working with Autodesk’s product managers and data scientists on analytics to support customer success programs. The team is developing data-driven methodologies to help customer success teams effectively engage with customers, enabling scalable approaches to addressing specific customer needs. Based in San Francisco, Autodesk is a global leader in in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software that helps people imagine, design, and create a better world.

BARCO Healthcare

2019-2020

BARCO Healthcare, is a multinational company headquartered in Kortrijk, Belgium. The student team is helping to analyze the data and workflow aspects of Multidisciplinary Tumor Board Meetings. Objectives include developing business analytics dashboards, measuring ROI and defining and capturing meeting efficiency KPIs. 

BlueMatrix

2020-2021

BlueMatrix is a leading platform for the authoring, distribution, and analysis of the consumption of financial research. It connects the world’s leading asset and wealth managers with nearly 1,000 research firms in more than 50 countries, in addition to serving internal teams across multinational corporations. Under the direction of the office of the CIO, MSBA students are analyzing fine-grain usage data from BlueMatrix's terabyte-scale SAAS platform. The goal is to analyze potential opportunities to create value for BlueMatrix's staff and customers and create robust predictive and search systems for financial-sector professionals using AI and advanced analytics.

Bowles Farming Company

2018-2019

Optimizing Agricultural Output at a California Farm

The project goal is to provide Bowles management with actionable intelligence on crop rotation to strategically optimize yields and revenues. As a companion to optimized crop rotation, the students are tasked with creating a risk management practice to robustly predict and minimize negative impacts of factors such as water allocations, market prices, and weather. The 11,000-acre Bowles Farm, where the company grows cotton, tomatoes, field crops, and specialty produce, is managed by the sixth generation of farm owners in California’s Central Valley.

CBRE/McKesson

2017-2018

Students tapped Internet-of-Things technology to explore real-time occupancy data with the goal of understanding how the workforce interacts with their office environment and how to influence productivity by improving space utilization. CBRE is the world’s largest commercial real estate services firm serving owners, investors and occupiers. Headquartered in San Francisco, McKesson Corporation—5th on the FORTUNE 500—is a global leader in healthcare supply chain management solutions, retail pharmacy, community oncology and specialty care and healthcare information technology.

COPA Data Initiative

2019-2020

The COPA Data Initiative team is responsible for optimizing the current search engine for the COPA online forum by developing a content scoring system. The focus is on improving the user experience by providing weighted search results with the help of Natural Language Processing. This would involve developing KPIs to determine improvement of the search functionality after the implementation of the model. On the administrative side, the COPA team aims to provide a dashboard to monitor site performance through custom metrics.

Dunnhumby

2017-2018

The student team worked with augmenting industry pricing and analytics experts tasked with improving profitability at a large California grocery chain by leveraging point-of-service and pricing data that capture how internal and external price signals impact customer behavior. Dunnhumby uses the power of customer (big) data and insights to create customer-first and personalized in-store, digital and mobile customer experiences.

Engage3

2019-2020

Leveraging data science and AI-powered software, Engage3 helps retailers and brands enhance their performance through localized competitive intelligence and optimized pricing strategies. The MSBA team is working closely with two data scientists with the major task of improving their in-house demand forecasting model.

Hilti Corporation

2018-2019

Managing Profitability Leakage in Enterprise Sales

Students are working with the Hilti finance team to determine a fair market pricing model based on customer segmentation and revenue potential. The goal is to form fundamental guidelines around pricing based on statistical analysis of Hilti’s current sales data combined with an understanding of business processes. Hilti is a global leader in providing technology-leading products, software and services to the worldwide construction industry through quality, innovation and direct customer relationships.

Institute for Transportation Studies – UC Davis

2018-2019

Innovative Business Models for California’s Electric Vehicle Infrastructure

The plug-in electric vehicle market is growing quickly in California, with 1.2-1.5 million vehicles expected on our roads by 2025 and 5 million by 2030. Public charging is critical for drivers who need more range, don’t have home charging, have slow chargers, or travel longer distances. The students are analyzing charging event data in collaboration with ITS-Davis researchers to design sustainable business models and capacity expansion strategies for charging station providers. ITS-Davis is the leading university center in the world on sustainable transportation, hosting the National Center on Sustainable Transportation since 2013 and managing major research initiatives on energy, environmental, and social issues.

Kiva

2020-2021

Kiva is an international nonprofit, founded in 2005 in San Francisco, with a mission to help the more than 1.7 billion unbanked around the world who cannot access much-needed financial services. MSBA students are developing analytical insights and models to enable Kiva to grow the value and use of its programs. Specifically, they are employing data science to understand how to increase uptake and stickiness, which product and marketing features provide greatest value to users, and how to position different lending products to maximize impact.

Koret

2019-2020

UC Davis’s Koret Shelter Medicine Program aims to help shelters increase the number of animals they are able to process without wasting resources and while providing these animals with the best possible outcome for their situation. Working closely with the UC Davis Graduate School of Management professor Dr. David Woodruff, this practicum team is augmenting the mathematical optimization model through analytics tools. Using both data from existing animal shelters and simulating realistic data, we aim to build a robust unsupervised classification model through Machine Learning. In the meantime, the team is implementing the optimization model into a website hosted on AWS. With functions such as displaying personalized visualizations of analysis based on input data and giving suggestions using the optimization model, this website helps shelters manage their capacity.

Lucky Brand

2018-2019

Omni-channel Merchandising at Fashion Retailer

Optimizing the product assortment at nearly 250 retail locations and integrating the in-store customer experience with its rapidly expanding e-commerce channel is key to Lucky Brand’s profit strategy. This multi-dimensional project gives students exposure to the company’s different organizational processes including demand management, facility planning, and merchandising. Founded in 1990 in Los Angeles, Lucky is an iconic American lifestyle brand specializing in denim.

Mondavi Center

2020-2021

The Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, a performance venue situated on the UC Davis campus, is continuing its GSM collaboration begun last year with an MSBA student team. The project focus this year is on identifying and analyzing the planning and operational responses to the pandemic. Building on the pricing and revenue management successes of last year's practicum, this year's MSBA team is integrating data from Mondavi's CRM, electronic marketing, web analytics and guest surveys to reengineer programming and operational systems.

2019-2020

The Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts is a performance venue situated on the UC Davis campus, hosting 70+ shows each season. The practicum project aims to develop a new pricing strategy for the largest concert hall and revamp the existing membership program to maximize revenue for the organization.

Nugget Markets

2017-2018

The student team assisted a customer-centric, locally-owned grocery chain evaluate its marketing analytics strategy and deliver insights that maximize promotional impact and strengthen customer relationship. Based in Woodland, Calif., Nugget Markets is a privately owned, $300+ mil. revenue grocery chain ranked 12 consecutive years among Fortune’s Best Companies to Work For.

Packsize

2020-2021

Packsize is among a very few companies worldwide creating “right-sized packaging” – shipping packages that are optimally sized to the dimensions of their contents - through its hardware and software solutions. Its products have an enormous environmental impact, reducing the use of corrugated fiberboard as well as fill materials like polystyrene, as well as shipping costs and damage. MSBA students are applying analytics to design next-generation automation solutions that combine image acquisition from state of the art stereoscopic cameras with Packsize's existing packaging and fulfillment solutions for a fast-expanding e-commerce sector.

PeopleFun

2019-2020

The PeopleFun Practicum team will use exploratory data analysis, clustering, and other advanced data science practices to better understand the gamers, enhance revenue, and increase gamer retention this premier game studio. PeopleFun created Wordscapes and Word Stacks, which are the #1 and #2 word games on the Google and Apple stores.

The analysis draws insights from 20 TB of game player data for 570,000+ users. Founded in 2011 by the former leadership of Ensemble Studios, PeopleFun prides itself on its highly talented development team, creativity, rapid prototyping, teamwork and fun. Over 25 million monthly active users play PeopleFun’s games.

Public Storage

2020-2021

Established in 1972, Public Storage is the world’s leading self-storage company. A part of the Fortune 500 (NYSE: PSA), Public Storage owns and operates 2500+ facilities across 38 states; we employ thousands of associates across the United States. Public Storage believes that analyzing and improving digital customer engagement is a critical differentiator that we can use to create even more customer value. To that end, the goal of the MSBA project is to develop a full-stack analytics implementation focused on eCommerce analytics.

REEF

2020-2021

Part of SoftBank’s worldwide portfolio of companies revolutionizing business and commerce with cutting edge technology, REEF transforms underutilized urban spaces into neighborhood hubs that connect people to locally curated goods, services, and experiences. REEF is the largest operator of mobility, logistics hubs, and neighborhood kitchens in the United States, Canada, and has a growing presence in Europe. Partnering with the MSBA program allows REEF to pair its rich data infrastructure with cutting-edge decision technologies and enthusiastic young talent from UC Davis to boost its workforce management systems and outcomes.

Reviewbox

2019-2020

Reviewbox is an early stage technology startup focused on delivering e-commerce data and analytics to consumer brands. Their software continually aggregates data across Amazon, Walmart.com, and several other major e-commerce sites. Currently, Reviewbox utilizes their dashboard for descriptive analytics. They have partnered with the UC Davis MSBA Program to try to drive more meaningful insights through three sub-projects that involve predictive and prescriptive analytics. The sub-projects involve exploring relationships between reviews and search and sales rank, understanding the buy box dynamics and Amazon Ads optimization.

Sumo Logic

2019-2020

The MSBA team is applying Machine Learning and advanced Data Science to drive customer retention, churn and expansion decisions at this cloud-based enterprise log management and analytics-as-a-service vendor. The analysis combines usage data from Sumo’s petabyle-scale platform and its CRM to identify strategies for customer retention and opportunities for market expansion. Sumo Logic is a SaaS company that helps customers monitor, troubleshoot and secure business-critical applications via a secure, cloud-native, continuous intelligence platform.

UC Davis Health

2020-2021

Ambulatory Access to Care

The region's only academic health center, UC Davis Health is focused on discovering and sharing knowledge and providing the highest quality of care. As providers compete for patients based on both convenience and quality, improving patient access by decreasing wait times is becoming increasingly important for UC Davis Health. The Access to Care project leverages analytics and multiple data sources to provide UCD Health patients with the right care in the right setting at the right time. That requires the student team to assess and propose improvements to existing models to better manage current and projected provider capacity by specialty. The end-goal is to use enhanced model recommendations to inform operational decisions and identify operational tactics to improve access.

Patient Experience

The region's only academic health center, UC Davis Health is focused on discovering and sharing knowledge and providing the highest quality of care. As healthcare has become increasingly consumer-driven, it has become imperative for hospitals and health systems to have a deep understanding of the people they serve (i.e., the patients). Patients provide service feedback through a variety of mechanisms, including multiple-choice surveys and with transcribed free text. The MSBA team is developing a robust and scalable system to provide UC Davis Health leadership with actionable feedback-based insight using statistical and machine learning modeling.