March 29, 2016  

Walmart partners with Purdue for weekend data dive

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University's Krannert School of Management is welcoming 12 universities for a data dive Saturday and Sunday (April 2-3). The student teams will have 24 hours to analyze data sets provided by international retailer Walmart.

The Krannert-Walmart Data Dive, involving both undergraduate and master's students, is believed to be the first data dive on a college campus. It will provide an experiential learning opportunity for students to analyze real-world information. Upon completion of the challenge, each team will submit an idea to improve efficient shelf space usage or customer segmentation. Walmart executives will select the winning team and award two $5,000 prizes.

 "As the world's largest retailer, we have the unique ability to leverage large amounts of data and generate insightful recommendations for how we can serve our customers around the world," said Bao Nguyen, media relations senior manager, Walmart Global eCommerce and Technology.

"We're using data to inform decisions for supporting our customers' lives and saving them time and money in new ways. The key is to make large amounts of complex, disconnected data easily consumable to quickly inform decisions for getting the right products in the right place at the right time. In short, our goal is to leverage data to create a seamless consumer experience."

 The data dive is the first major activity conducted by Purdue's Business Information and Analytics Center.

"We are equipping business students with the skills to become leaders in the era of Big Data. Not only will they be able to deploy the right tools needed to analyze Big Data but they will also have the business acumen to present actionable insights to their management teams," said Mohammad Rahman, associate professor of management at Purdue, and event organizer. "This event provides all participants with the coveted opportunity to get hands-on experience with real data science problems and practice providing business insights to executives."

The data dive also will provide the students with networking opportunities. Walmart is keen to recruit talents that are skilled at identifying trends through data and people with an interest in analytics, statistical modeling, machine learning and data technologies.

"We're looking for collaborative, team-minded people who can communicate insights and findings in ways that helps the broader business audience understand data," said Nguyen.

Universities sending teams include Georgia Institute of Technology, Indiana University, Michigan State University, Northwestern University, Ohio State University, Purdue University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Iowa, the University of Maryland, the University of Michigan, University of Rochester and the University of Texas-Dallas.

For more information on the data dive visit www.krannert.purdue.edu/data-dive. 

Writer: John Hughey, 765-494-2432, hugheyj@purdue.edu

Source: Mohammad Rahman, mrahman@purdue.edu 

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