Winning Tippie MBA team poses with Business Analytics Case Competition trophy
May 7, 2018
Tom Snee

A team of Tippie College of Business Iowa MBA students won this year’s third annual MBA Business Analytics Case Competition in Iowa City on April 20, working to address a real-world business problem.

The case came from United Airlines, one of the sponsors of the competition. Students were given sample data and asked to use their business analytics skills to not only create models but help United understand what drives customer satisfaction from the time customers arrive at the airport to the time they land safely on the ground and collect their luggage.

Teams were then asked to prioritize the findings and think of ideas United could use to improve customer satisfaction. They were also asked to provide solutions for how to continuously monitor customer satisfaction. 

The Iowa team analyzed United’s customer service data and used various modeling techniques to determine which market segments to target for improvements. From this modeling, they recommended United focus on its top-tier customers, who usually fly in first class, business, and economy plus. They also designed a prototype dashboard United’s customer service teams could use to address specific areas that might need attention based on reports of issues with seats, gates, or flight attendants.

The competition drew 14 other schools. The University of Alabama finished in second, MIT in third, and the University of Notre Dame in fourth.

Other sponsors included UnityPoint Health and Kum & Go. Judges were data analytics experts from John Deere, Google, and Source Allies.