Analytical Consulting Lab Syllabus Spring 2018 Jan 22, 2018 Update
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Spring 2018 Analytical Consulting Lab: MECN 915 Department of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences Kellogg School of Management • Northwestern University Professor: Russell Walker Analytical Consulting Lab Syllabus Spring 2018 Jan 22, 2018 Update Background on the Analytical Consulting Lab The Analytical Consulting Lab (ACL) is part of the Kellogg experiential learning initiative. The specific interest in the Analytical Consulting Lab comes out of the deep demand for business leaders that can provide guidance in analysis and focus that analysis to specific business questions. Additionally, many recruiters and employers have commented that finding talent that bridges the business and analytical communities is difficult. The ACL strives to provide a real- world learning experience for students to work with sponsoring companies on business questions that revolve around analysis. Students work in teams using analysis (broadly defined) to answer current and important business questions. Kellogg has a strong tradition in bringing analysis to bear on business questions. In fact, the Analytical Consulting Major is the second most popular major at Kellogg, suggesting that not only does the ACL support this major, but it will resonate strongly with the goals of many a Kellogg MBA student. Course Details The ACL is offered as MECN-915, a full credit course. Most projects in the ACL are sponsored by Kellogg alumni, at very senior levels in their organizations. Students taking the ACL are assured a strong learning experience and a commitment from the firm to provide access to decision maker and information that will make the experience meaningful. Details on projects, companies, and information about selecting projects is available at: http://kellogg.northwestern.edu/faculty/walker/htm/acl
Spring 2018 Analytical Consulting Lab: MECN 915 Department of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences Kellogg School of Management • Northwestern University Professor: Russell Walker Application Process Students interested in the ACL must submit an application for project selection. The application permits optimal project assignment, based on student goals, client needs, and project requirements. Applications are accepted by the Kellogg Experiential Learning system. Students should apply for MECN 915 via the Kellogg Experiential Learning System, at: https://www4.kellogg.northwestern.edu/el/ The application start date is Jan 25. The application close date is Feb 9. Decision date is on or before Feb 16 (before Round 1 bidding) There are two sections of MECN 915, ACL, in the spring and thus 12 team, each of 4 students. The list of projects includes multiple projects from some organizations. However, these organizations expect to fill one project. At most 12 teams of 4 students each can be accepted into ACL. Key parts of this application include: • Resume or CV • List of courses taken at Kellogg with grades • Description of any professional Analytical Experience (no specific experience needed) • Description of any professional Consulting Experience (no specific experience needed) • Special service to Kellogg • Reasons for taking the ACL • Goals for taking the ACL • Project Choice #1 • Project Choice #2 • Any fellow desired Kellogg student for a team (limit of one student to specify). Team member preference is only considered if both people select each other. • Other information that you may wish to share in your application, personal goals, career aspirations, etc. Student teams that are fully formed (a team of 4) are encouraged and will be given special preference. If you are forming a team and submitting as a team, do make that clear in the application and stress how your team has come to select the project and how it meets your goals. Student information in the application process is used in formulating teams and assigning projects so that goals, backgrounds, skills, and expectations are all best aligned. Project Assignment Student assignments to client projects will be based on individual preferences, requested skill sets and industry experience, and team member diversity. Every attempt will be made to grant students their first or second choice of projects. Student information is collected via the
Spring 2018 Analytical Consulting Lab: MECN 915 Department of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences Kellogg School of Management • Northwestern University Professor: Russell Walker application. Students may select one fellow student for a project. This fellow student selection is honored as possible, if the both students select each other. Students will be notified about their project assignments during the term before the class. All efforts are taken to accommodate first choices, while forming teams with an appropriate set of skills and interests. Case Packet and Readings As this course is an experiential one, there are no specific cases to prepare. However, many students have looked for examples of companies that have excelled at Analytics. Also, as the course emphasizes consulting and best practices in a professional client engagement, there is a need to consider some of these best practices. Given this, the following texts are recommended and optional: 1) The McKinsey Way, Ethan M. Rasiel, McGraw-Hill 2) From Big Data to Big Profits: Success with Data and Analytics, Russell Walker, Oxford University Press, 2015. These texts are easily purchased on-line, so these are not requested in the bookstore. Course Meetings As with other experiential courses, the focus is on the team project and its delivery to the sponsoring company. Teams will meet with the Professor on a regularly and frequent basis in order to discuss the analysis, flow of work, final presentation and delivery to the sponsoring team. The class will also meet with the prescribed schedule to review concepts and themes important in being successful with the analytical consulting function and in order to provide presentations for the purpose of group learning. All Group Meetings are to be held with the team and the Professor at a pre-defined time that works mutually. Meetings with the Professor and Client must conclude before 4:30PM on weekdays. PTMBA students are welcome to the class, but cautioned on this scheduling constraint. Students who cannot make meetings in person are encouraged and welcome to join via telephone. Pre-term activities Project identification Team formation Identification of Team Liaison to Client Identification of Team Liaison to Professor Client Introduction Project description Schedule first group meeting with Professor Schedule first client meeting with Client Week I: Class Session I Getting Started with ACL
Spring 2018 Analytical Consulting Lab: MECN 915 Department of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences Kellogg School of Management • Northwestern University Professor: Russell Walker Managing Project Ambiguity Managing Teams Overview of the Consulting Approach Dealing with Data Descriptive Statistics Using Tools: JMP, Excel, @Risk STATA Resources at Kellogg Guest Speaker: NWU Librarian: Using Business Databases from the NWU Library for market and firm measurement. Bring your laptop and be ready to explore databases! Week II: Group Meeting I: Developing a Work Plan, Project Analysis Examples of Past Analysis Use of Graphics Best Practices in Presentation of Data Building Points Through Analysis Week III: Group Meeting II: Preliminary Analysis of Data Teams to bring descriptive statistics to meeting with Professor Work Plans due to Professor Week IV Group Meeting III: Focus on Data and Analysis Address questions and issues in analysis Week V Group Meeting IV: Prep for Midpoint Check-in Class Session II Mid-term progress review and team mini-presentations Mid-point document due at beginning of class Mid-point team and mid-point peer feedback due to professor Week VI : Group Meeting V: Mid-point feedback, planning for next phase Week VII Group Meeting VI: As per team needs Week VIII Group Meeting VII:
Spring 2018 Analytical Consulting Lab: MECN 915 Department of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences Kellogg School of Management • Northwestern University Professor: Russell Walker As per team needs Week IX Group Meeting IX: Dry-run of presentation with Professor Week X Class Session III Project Findings Final project deliverable due to Professor and Client on last class day. Meetings with Clients to be held and presentations made to client in person during or before final week of classes. As in any professional consulting engagement, the students are requested to regularly meet with the client to receive input, data, direction of project goals, and feedback on the progress as needed. All clients are committed and dedicated to fulfilling the learning and business aspect of the project. Teams may schedule additional time with the Professor as needed and as available. Grading Grading of the project is driven largely by the quality of the team project. The Professor will evaluate the project, its analysis, presentation, and delivery on the following major points: • Analysis: o Quality of analysis (thoroughness, appropriateness) o Clarity and quality of model summary and description o Intellectual impact (was the analysis creative, novel, clever, or otherwise compelling?) • Project Document o Quality of project description o Quality of analysis summary o Quality of recommendations and conclusions o Use of meaningful graphs, graphs, and presentation of data • Presentation Documents o Quality of presentation o Professional impact of the presentation o Ability to communicate main points of the analysis and recommendations • Team Meetings o Preparation o Organization o Progress The Professor will ask the client company to provide feedback on the same above points.
Spring 2018 Analytical Consulting Lab: MECN 915 Department of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences Kellogg School of Management • Northwestern University Professor: Russell Walker Peer evaluations will also be collected from each member. Each student must rate their teammates on the following dimensions: • Intellectual and creative contribution • Workload and willingness to take initiative • Organization, preparation, and availability • Collaboration and respect for peers Peer evaluations will be on a 1-10 scale with 10 being excellent and 1 being poor. All peer evaluations will be treated confidentially. All ACL students must participate, as participation is also important to make this a meaningful learning experience for all involved. Grade Breakdown Professor Evaluation of Final project materials and presentation: 30% Professor Evaluation of Work plan and Mid-point review: 20% Client Evaluation of Final project materials and presentation: 10% Peer Evaluations (*): 20% Professor Evaluation of Preparation during meetings and participation: 20% * Note: The Professor reserves the right to adjust any student’s final grade up or down by a full letter grade in the event that the student’s peers unanimously score his or her contributions significantly above or below the overall team effort. Role of the Professor The Professor serves as an aide, counselor, and advisor for the team. The Professor does not conduct the analysis, but will provide detailed direction on analytical approaches. The Professor does not serve as the team liaison or representative to the client. The team must organize itself and identify such a liaison. The Professor may accompany the team to select team meetings and or participate in calls, but the Professor cannot in practically, attend all such meetings. In the event that the client or the ACL student team encounter an incompatibility or encounter an issue, the Professor will intervene to remedy the situation. The Professor may also resolve project assignments, as needed. Role of the Team The team will consist of 4 Kellogg MBA students working as a team to complete analysis, as defined by the client as agreed to before the start of the academic term. The team should be mindful to control the amount of time that is required of the client. This means being prepared for meetings, having a designated liaison to schedule meetings, request information, and follow-through with next steps. This level of preparation and understanding is needed as most clients sponsor this project but do not allocate a full-time associate to work with the ACL team.
Spring 2018 Analytical Consulting Lab: MECN 915 Department of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences Kellogg School of Management • Northwestern University Professor: Russell Walker The team should expect to contribute about 300-400 hours over the 10-week period to this ACL project. This is a reasonable expectation for a team working on a project and is consistent with other experiential and lab courses at Kellogg. This translates to 8-10 hours per person per week. The team will produce a white paper that documents the study, results, and recommendations. The team will also prepare a presentation and deliver it in person to the client and its team. A reduced version with emphasis on key findings is also to be presented at the last class. Role of the Client The client provides the real-world learning opportunity, data needed to complete the appropriate analysis, and feedback on the quality of the project and its analysis. The Client is not expected to solve the problem, but should provide ample expertise, data, and contextual information to the ACL team. Prerequisites All students in the ACL must have completed DECS core. There are no other requirements. Some FAQs: What is the Analytical Consulting Lab? It is a course available to Kellogg MBA students that are interested in the use of analytics in business. Students must take specific prerequisites and have strong academic performance in such classes to take the Analytical Consulting Lab. Students work in teams to resolve a real-work business problem using analytics. What do you mean by Analytics? It is meant to be broad but includes the use of specific quantitative approaches, such as regression analysis, time series analysis, forecasting, market segmentation, data mining, optimization, logistical analysis, scenario simulation, and risk analysis, as examples. In particular, we mean solving a business problem using data and applying one of these quantitative approaches. How can PTMBA Students participate? The ACL is open to PTMBA students on a limited basis, subject to all meetings with the Client and Professor being conducted during normal business hours, which are taken as before 4PM on weekdays only. Please contact Dr. Russell Walker on any questions regarding your interest on the course. PTMBA students should organize in groups. How can Saturday MBA Students participate? At this time the ACL is not available to Saturday MBA students, given the need to meet in person with the Client and Professor on a regular basis outside of the Saturday format of the Kellogg Saturday MBA. How does this experience benefit the students?
Spring 2018 Analytical Consulting Lab: MECN 915 Department of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences Kellogg School of Management • Northwestern University Professor: Russell Walker Kellogg MBA students taking the ACL will work on a real-world problem under the direction of a Kellogg faculty member. The opportunity to apply analytical theory and learn about a business, make recommendations, and bring together many aspects of their business education is unparalleled. We also ask that the students focus on how to communicate the results of analysis in the context of business decision-making. For students interested in moving to an industry to deep in analytics after graduation or developing new business skills in analytics, this course will be very attractive. The Analytics Pathway and corresponding majors are among of the most popular majors at Kellogg and students have expressed deep interest in developing strong skills in analytics. This course meets an interest in our students and provides them an experiential learning opportunity that will prepare them for business opportunities. How does the Client benefit from this opportunity? The ACL is an intensive analytics elective that attracts some of our most analytically talented MBA students. It is expected that the student group of 4 will commit about 400 working hours to the project. Additionally, the student project will be overseen by a Kellogg faculty member that has expertise in analytics and its application in business. We expect that the project deliverables, recommendations, and report will provide direct value to your organization. However, we also believe that the project provides your organization and opportunity to determine how and where to invest in more analytics. If this includes the acquisition of more analytical talent, the project provides an excellent conduit to members of our student body that are talented and interested in this space. How does the team work with the Client? For the student team, the partnering company is a client. They will conduct their analysis and provide recommendations through a report and presentation in the same format and in the same manner as a consulting service. The faculty member also serves as an important liaison between the partner and the student, serving to manage time commitments and negotiate deliverables. It is expected that the student team can meet with and speak with key members of your team that can help them answer questions relevant to the analysis. Which software will we use? It really depends on the project and your familiarity with software packages. This course is software agnostic, meaning most software packages are acceptable. The course does not have as a goal to teach a particular package, but rather to enable analytics in a business project. You are welcome to use software of your choice. Most projects can well be completed with a combination of Excel and one statistical package. Students having taken MECN 915 have found using JMP, STATA, R, SPSS, and @Risk useful. Kellogg provides support and access to STATA. Access to JMP, @RISK, STATA, and other tools will be discussed in the course. If you are unsure or unfamiliar with statistical software, we will discuss that during our first meeting. Some packages may have a minimal cost. What about the data? To make this experience valuable to the students and the to solve the business problem at hand, we do need access to data. It is important that the data be available before the project begins.
Spring 2018 Analytical Consulting Lab: MECN 915 Department of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences Kellogg School of Management • Northwestern University Professor: Russell Walker Additionally, the project should make use of “scrubbed” data, that is data that is free of specific information that would be sensitive or otherwise governed by a law, such as social security numbers of customers or names of customers. What types of business problems can be considered? As analytics is helpful in many business functions, we are open to many applications of analytics. Specific business problems in marketing, forecasting, customer segmentation, pricing, commodity analysis, logistics, risk management, operations, inventory leveling, supply chain improvement, and scenario planning are sure to provide great analytical opportunities. Will the analysis become public? The work between the students and your organization is considered confidential. If necessary, the students may be asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement. If this is necessary, we ask that the non-disclosure agreement be such that it does not prevent the students from seeking employment or from building on their experience gained on the project. From time to time, such company-student projects lead to very interesting business lessons. As a leading business school, we are interested in sharing such lessons with our next generation students and business leaders. We do this through business cases. If such an opportunity exists with your project, we will seek your permission to relate the business lesson through a case study. How to I join the Class? First, you must meet the prerequisites. Then submit your application to Professor Russell Walker before the deadline. The application is used to build teams, assign you to one of your top project choices. Contact Information Please contact Russell Walker, Ph.D. Via e-mail at email@example.com or via phone at +1 847 467 2148.
Spring 2018 Analytical Consulting Lab: MECN 915 Department of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences Kellogg School of Management • Northwestern University Professor: Russell Walker SPRING 2018 ACL Projects
Spring 2018 Analytical Consulting Lab: MECN 915 Department of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences Kellogg School of Management • Northwestern University Professor: Russell Walker SUNPOWER us.sunpower.com One of the first and largest renewable energy companies, SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR) does everything under the sun when it comes to solar energy. We design and manufacture the most efficient solar panels on the market. We engineer, procure, and construct solar plants that stretch for miles in deserts from California to Chile to South Africa. We operate, maintain, and manage these sites on behalf of ourselves and financial investors. To date, SunPower has deployed more than 6 GW of solar worldwide, enough to power 1.8 million homes 100% sustainably and emission-free. We are excited to offer a project to ACL. Your work would support the Development and Origination teams within the Utility Power Plant business based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Project sponsors include a Kellogg alum, Phil Goodman (JD/MBA ’17), and a Haas alum, Moulay Mrani (MBA ’15). This project will directly support a large scale solar plant we are considering building in Virginia, within the PJM territory, which is a wholesale energy market that provides power to individuals and businesses in Chicago along with most of the Mid-Atlantic region. The project would entail analyzing historical energy pricing and production in two or more different locations of the electric grid to infer patterns, correlations, and implied congestion (i.e., when the grid cannot handle all the electricity that is needed or generated). The objectives are 1) to translate the analysis into extrapolation and forecasting analysis under given sets of conditions and 2) quantify the uncertainty and pricing risk associated with the risk of a project generating electricity in one location but selling to a large data center many miles away (“basis risk”). (Please note that we may update this project when the team starts work in March to ensure that your work will directly tie to our then current focus areas.) Philip is an alumnus of Prof. Walker’s courses!
Spring 2018 Analytical Consulting Lab: MECN 915 Department of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences Kellogg School of Management • Northwestern University Professor: Russell Walker Heinen’s Fine Foods Advertisement Circular Analytical Study www.heinens.com Project: Heinens Weekly Ad Circular Northwestern: 3 or 4 person team Spending 300-400 hours on the project. Heinens Weekly Ad Circular Heinens in accordance with Industry best practices makes significant financial and time investments in the production and distribution of a weekly ad circular to geographic area surrounding our retail location. For decades the weekly ad circular has been viewed as a costly and inefficient method of communication. As a result, Heinen's has made a significant investment in partnering with a leading customer big data science company to more effectively target our existing customer base with personalized offers based on their shopping preferences and their stage in the customer life. Heinens in order to maximize the effectiveness of these personalized offers has scaled back the size of the weekly ad circular, reinvesting the savings back into these personalized targeted offers. This reduction has raised the question of if the Weekly Ad circular is still relevant to our customers and worth even the current expenditure. Objective Review and question Heinens current Ad circular strategy evaluating the program’s effectiveness and return on investment. The goal being to assist Heinen's in understanding whether the current marketing funds should be redirected to different channels. 1. Scope a. Ad Circular Distribution i. Is Heinen’s effectively distributing the ad circular to our customer base? 1. Utilizing customer loyalty addresses heat map our customer base a. Are we missing any neighborhoods? b. Which neighborhoods are utilizing the ad the most 2. Who is using the ad Circular? a. Spending per Household b. Items previously purchased c. Demographics i. Currently would have to be based on zip code, but could utilize census groupings b. Is the ad circular effective?
Spring 2018 Analytical Consulting Lab: MECN 915 Department of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences Kellogg School of Management • Northwestern University Professor: Russell Walker i. What is the customer life cycle of heavy users of the ad 1. Is the Ad an effective introduction of our stores to customers? a. Are we to leverage our shopping experience to build basket size and loyalty overtime with these customers post ad? b. Or does the ad in reality serve as a subsidy to our worst customers who shop the ad exclusivity 2. Analyze customers overall spend with particular focus on customers with: a. A high percentage of their basket being items that were on ad that week and perhaps analyzing frequency of visits of heavy ad shoppers b. A high percentage of the items on ad where purchased. (Differs in that a customer could have a large basket, reducing the percentage of items in the basket that are on sale but still containing a significant number of sale items. i. Focus on customer who purchased “X” or more items that were on sale c. Ad Size reduction i. Has there been any significant change in customer behavior since the reduction in size of the Ad circular? 1. Have our customers even noticed the change? 2. Has the change effected Heinens price perception a. How do our customers view Heinens in regard to price/value i. We know our biggest challenge in educating our customers on our value proposition. Where does the Ad circular fit into this customers education d. Attracting and retaining millennial shoppers i. We know Millennial are not purchasing newspapers, so can we assume they are even looking at the ad circular ii. What percentage of our customers are millennials 1. How is our customer base likely to change over the coming years based on the location of our store and the shifting age demographics
Spring 2018 Analytical Consulting Lab: MECN 915 Department of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences Kellogg School of Management • Northwestern University Professor: Russell Walker iii. What channels are millennials leveraging in order to search for deals? What is the most effective way to reach them a. How much do they care about price? b. How critical is an ad circular in their price perception of a retailor iv. Evaluate social media and other channels to communicate our value proposition 1. Should we have our ad circular on Instagram, Twitter, etc. 2. Data a. POS i. Sales Data b. Ad circular i. Which Items were on sale when c. Loyalty Card Data Heinen’s is an ACL alumnus firm!
Spring 2018 Analytical Consulting Lab: MECN 915 Department of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences Kellogg School of Management • Northwestern University Professor: Russell Walker Heinen’s Fine Foods Impact of New Meat Packing - Analytical Study www.heinens.com Project: Heinens New Meat Packaging Northwestern: 3 or 4 person team Spending 300-400 hours on the project. Heinens New Meat Packaging Heinens recently opened a new central manufacturing facility to increase operational efficiencies and to produces products with higher quality and consistency. The central manufacturing facility houses central meat which is responsible for the processing and distribution of all our fresh cut meat items. Heinen’s invested in new packaging machines that packs the product in a very low oxygen environment that delivers several advantages to the customer. These advantages include extended shelf life for the customer (up to 21 days), leak proof packaging, freezer ready, and the package allows the product to continue to age delivering a more optimal eating experience. While undoubtedly providing better quality and freshness, the cryovac packaging does face significant challenges and requires the company to educate the customers on its benefits. As a result of a nearly completely oxygen less environment, the meat appears significantly darker and will not turn the familiar bright red that has become synonymous with freshness until the package is opened and the meat is allowed to “bloom”. While significant effort has been made to educate our customers, Heinen's still fears the overall impact of the new packaging has had a negative impact on meat sales. Objective Heinens is seeking assistance quantifying the impact the release of the new packaging and its impact on meat sales in order to better understand if additional educational efforts are needed. 3. Scope a. Financial Impact of new packaging i. Study of overall sales trends, have meat sales decreased since the release of the new packaging in sales dollars and units 1. Has the decrease effected all cuts of meat equality equally? a. Are there particular cuts which customers appear to have an aversion to purchasing when cryovaced? 2. Does the data show any improvement in the adoption rate over time?
Spring 2018 Analytical Consulting Lab: MECN 915 Department of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences Kellogg School of Management • Northwestern University Professor: Russell Walker 1. How quickly do customers return fully to their old meat level of purchasing or have the customers not returned to their buying level of these meat cuts? 2. Are there any common attributes correlated to how quickly a customer bounces back to old purchasing levels? a. Product selected 3. Common attributes among customers whose purchasing bounce back exceeds their original amount b. How many customer don’t even want to try the new packaging 1. How many customer used to buy meat but have not purchased meat products since the new packaging has been released c. Are we getting any better at communicating the benefits i. Are customer adopting the new packaging at a faster rate now than when we first launched the new packaging 1. Analyze customers who used to purchase meat, didn’t buy meat when new packaging first came out, and now are purchasing. a. Does this group return to old purchasing behavior faster than a group who tried the new packaging right when it came out. ii. Which customers segments have reacted the most negatively to the packaging? 1. Are there any common attributes a. $ spent per household, b. Products previously purchased c. Location of purchase d. Is the issue with high frequency meat purchasers? Or is the issue with customers who only buy meat
Spring 2018 Analytical Consulting Lab: MECN 915 Department of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences Kellogg School of Management • Northwestern University Professor: Russell Walker occasionally, making them less likely to have been educated on the benefits of the packaging. iii. Are there any group of customers who have reacted positively to the changes? a. What are the common attributes i. $ spent per household, ii. Products previously purchased iii. Is the issue with high frequency meat purchasers? Or have is the issue with customers who only buy meat occasionally making them less likely to have been educated on the benefits of the packaging b. Customer view on cryovac packaging/ overall view of meat i. Utilizing survey data what is the biggest issue customers have with the new packaging 1. How do we account for customers shifting meat preferences, with beef consumption becoming an increasing small percentage of customer’s diets? a. Have customer preferences materially changed since the release of the new packaging? b. Given the majority of our cryovac packing is beef could changing preferences account for any of the sales decrease? 4. Data a. POS i. Sales Data b. Loyalty Card Data Heinen’s is an ACL alumni firm!
Spring 2018 Analytical Consulting Lab: MECN 915 Department of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences Kellogg School of Management • Northwestern University Professor: Russell Walker Memphis Grizzlies Sponsorship Impact Survey Situation After being founded in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1995, the Memphis Grizzlies are currently completing their 17th season in Memphis. The team has experienced success both on the court (making the playoffs in 10 of the last 14 seasons) and off it (recently setting department records in ticket sales and sponsorships) in the last few years. The team has also been expanding its reach across the region, adding both a G League franchise and a spot in the inaugural NBA 2K League, the NBA’s esports endeavor, in the past nine months. Task The Partnership Marketing department, responsible for selling and maintaining all of the Grizzlies’ corporate partner relationships, executes an annual survey focusing on several key accounts. The primary purpose of the survey is to measure changes in brand perceptions over the course of the season among both Grizzlies’ fans and those in the Memphis market who do not follow the team. Those impacts are communicated back to our partners, helping all parties gauge the effectiveness of the partnership in achieving the brands’ stated marketing objectives. Action • Sanitize data for in-depth analysis o Excel exports from surveying tool o Determine which responses to include, structure responses for use with statistical software, etc. • Determine sponsorship impacts over the course of the season o Look at baseline awareness/consideration/preference for brand at season’s start o Identify changes in those elements over time among fans and non-fans and communicate significance of those changes • Provide recommendations for individual partnerships and overall department strategy o Which segments/clusters of fans respond best to partnerships?
Spring 2018 Analytical Consulting Lab: MECN 915 Department of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences Kellogg School of Management • Northwestern University Professor: Russell Walker o Which partner assets (signage, promotions, digital content, social media, etc.) drive largest impact on partner metrics? Result Kellogg students are able to provide the Grizzlies with reporting that can be delivered to partners at the end of the season regarding the impact of partnerships. Kellogg students also develop strategic insights that can be leveraged to drive more engaging and powerful partnerships going forward, positively impacting department revenue. Memphis Grizzlies is an alumni firm of the ACL!
Spring 2018 Analytical Consulting Lab: MECN 915 Department of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences Kellogg School of Management • Northwestern University Professor: Russell Walker Qantas Airlines Kellogg ACL Project Proposal: Spring Term 2018 Qantas Sale Activity Optimization Qantas periodically deploys sale activity in market with the objective of generating net incremental revenue vs the do nothing alternative. Conceptually, the potential benefits of sale activity are easily understood with Qantas having an established framework for guiding these activities, however, there is further room to optimise the design of sale activity. We see the following opportunities: - Quantification of incremental nature of sale activity in revenue and volume terms (building a bridge back to yield) - Halo effect – estimation of dilution effect from sale activity (dilution of sales that would have happened regardless – at time of sale or brought forward from the future at lower yields) - Competitive effects – effect of a competitive response - Dual Brand effect – is revenue maximised by aligning sales across Qantas and Jetstar or separating? - Proximity effects – optimisation of time proximity sale period to travel periods of sales - Pricing effects – effect of different sale fare levels depending on time proximity of the sale period to the travel period The commercial problem is fraught with complexity & incomplete and imperfect data and one that has been explored over time. The opportunity is to bring new insights to this arena. Qantas is an alumni firm of the ACL!
Spring 2018 Analytical Consulting Lab: MECN 915 Department of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences Kellogg School of Management • Northwestern University Professor: Russell Walker Chicago Bears Market Analysis Concept: Analyze the Bears and their competitors to help the Bears create and sustain superior advantage in the market. Students will consider what the Bears and their competitors are doing now and what should they be doing to maximize fan engagement, fan satisfaction, local revenues (tickets, suites, partnerships), earned media coverage (on-the-field and off, i.e. community service). Bears is an alumni firm of the ACL!
Spring 2018 Analytical Consulting Lab: MECN 915 Department of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences Kellogg School of Management • Northwestern University Professor: Russell Walker Element Bars We are a custom energy bar company located in Chicago. Started in 2008, the company originally allowed customers to create their own custom energy bar by selecting from all natural and organic ingredients and then naming their own bar. As the company grew, 99% of revenue now comes from contract manufacturing granola and protein bars for other brands that are nationally distributed. The Founder and CEO Jonathan Miller is a Kellogg alum from the Class of 2008. We have worked with several students from Kellogg – including hiring summer interns and serving as clients for other class projects. The Analytical Consulting Lab provides another great opportunity to provide students with rewarding experiences while allowing Element Bars to leverage student skills. Below are 2 projects of interest. Project 1 As a food manufacturer, one of our largest risks is ingredients and spoilage. Ensuring that we order the correct amount allows us to decrease this risk. The correct order quantity would be by ingredient and take into consideration lead time, frequency and order quantity (among other factors). The output would be an Excel model that shows each ingredient and reorder points and quantities. The data we can provide includes ingredients/bars purchased, price of ingredients, and vendor data. Project 2 As a manufacturer, we are considering developing the capability of doing higher protein bars similar to Quest. This project would include stocking new ingredients (subject to minimum order quantities), using new machines (different through-puts), and different production speeds. The output would be an Excel model that cost and benefit of entering this market. The data we can provide includes ingredient cost, machine cost, and rough market estimates (but these will need to be refined by the client team). Element Bars is an alumni firm of ACL!
Spring 2018 Analytical Consulting Lab: MECN 915 Department of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences Kellogg School of Management • Northwestern University Professor: Russell Walker MENUS OF CHANGE – HARVARD and CIA JV Project Descriptions There are multiple projects available with Menus of Change, a partnership between the Harvard School of Public Health and the Culinary Institute of America. Each looks at a critical input to the world’s food supply. Risks associated with the use, availability, pricing, and environmental impact follow and will drive the risk-decision approach to the use of these food inputs. This project is sponsored by Arlin Wasserman, a Founder and Director of the Menus of Change Ingredient (Bio)Diversity and Shareholder Returns Eating a wider variety of food contributes to better health and raising a greater diversity of crops and animals also supports greater biodiversity and a more resilient agriculture sector. With Americans spending a larger share of the food dollars than ever before to eat meals prepared by business and culinary professionals, either in a restaurant or to bring home, more of the choices about ingredients are now in the hands of business. But is ingredient diversity, or biodiversity, also good business? That’s the question to answer by looking at the menus and financial performance of the largest publicly traded restaurant companies and seeing if a correlation exists between a greater diversity of ingredients and key measure of performance like (sales growth, shareholder performance, same store sales, and shareholder return, and what that can tell us about the business case for changing menus. A New Food World: Can the Best Known Early Stage companies all succeed…and what happens if they do? In recent years, food is one of the most active areas for scaling up new and disruptive business models and attracting the interest and support of investors. And business and food media are full of announcements about companies that intend to dramatically change how we eat, or at least a portion of us eat some of the time. From meal kit delivery businesses like Blue Apron, Plated and Purple Carrot that intend to replace both restaurants and grocery stores, companies like Sweet Greens or Roti that intend to be the next Chipotle of one type of cuisine or another, to Shake Shack and Fat Burger which intend to make their better burgers so irresistible we eat them more often, or Chef Jet that puts a robot chef in your house, along with a host of other business models that are about delivering a meal that is somewhere between partly assembled and fully cooked and ready to eat.
Spring 2018 Analytical Consulting Lab: MECN 915 Department of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences Kellogg School of Management • Northwestern University Professor: Russell Walker Amidst all the growth projections, we know the population in the US is growing relatively slowly and it would be better if our caloric intake, waist lines and rates of obesity actually slowed a bit. But can they all succeed? And what would it look like. This study would look at current US eating patterns and the growth forecasts for about 20 well known early stage food companies and figure out how we will be eating if they all succeed, as well your opinion about if they can all succeed. Choices, Choices: Do Restaurant Companies Perform Better When Making Choices for Their Customers The customer is always right. Have it your way. We’re not responsible for your health. All are common mantras from the restaurant industry over the past several decades and have led to dining formats that offer diners a bounty of choices, like those of Cheesecake Factory, whose menu is truly like a book, or McDonald’s, whose franchise operators complained under the growth of its menu from burgers to chicken, fish, salads and more. In recent years, a new crop of restaurants have emerged that offer far fewer choices – just burgers, just grassfed burger, or salads or just organic salads, or grain bowls, etc. – and are dramatically reducing the choices available to consumers. This make the brand proposition much clearer and also provides some operational benefits. But does it work in a marketplace filled with people who eat several times a day? This project looks at the business performance implications of making choices for diners or offer diners many choices, and we’ll ask you to figure out what’s better over the mid- term range of at least several years. How do so called “limited concepts” perform compared to those with more diverse offerings in traffic, revenue and profit, valuation and shareholder return. And do healthy, sustainable or other “better for you attributes” play a role? Menus of Change is an alumni firm of ACL!
Spring 2018 Analytical Consulting Lab: MECN 915 Department of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences Kellogg School of Management • Northwestern University Professor: Russell Walker Brown Brothers Harriman www.BBH.com Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH) is a privately owned and managed financial services firm. We serve the most sophisticated individuals and institutions with expertise in Private Banking, Investment Management, and Investor Services. Without the distraction of third-party shareholders, our interests are wholly aligned with those of our clients, and have been for nearly 200 years. Our success is driven by the success of our clients. We take a personal approach to doing business, with prudent risk management and the client’s reputation and best interests at the core of everything we do. Project: Evaluating Risks from Impact Investing Impact Investing - the process of investing capital with the dual purpose of producing financial returns and furthering a societal cause - has risen in popularity over the past decade. Asset managers have created new funds recently to target specific causes - such as literacy, gender empowerment, and environmental stewardship. Industry publications have loosely tracked the performance of these funds, but little discussion has been given to the risks associated with these investments. The allure and discussion of societal benefits often precludes a discussion of the risk of trying to do well with these investments. How can an investment advisor have an honest discussion with a potential investor regarding the risks of these types of investments, while still being sensitive to the causes the investors are pursuing? Risk is often defined as standard deviation or impairment of capital, does that definition need to change when financial return isn't the only objective? Are there certain investments or causes that are of a higher risk profile? How do impact investment returns generally correlate to other financial instruments (i.e. stocks) or indices? The scope of the project would be to answer the questions above, while also providing a summary of the investment landscape for impact investing (e.g. sources of capital, causes/investments receiving capital, etc.) This project is sponsor by Nick Maglio, alumnus of the Risk Lab, the ACL, and Kellogg! BBH is also an alumni firm of Risk Lab!
Spring 2018 Analytical Consulting Lab: MECN 915 Department of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences Kellogg School of Management • Northwestern University Professor: Russell Walker NFL Project: NFL Fan Experience International · AIM: Explore non-game tent-pole events to execute in the NFL’s core global markets, specifically Canada and Germany, and recommend a business model that drives value to NFL International in the form of fan growth while being ROI positive. · Background / Situation Assessment: The most immersive and fan-engaging experience is a live game of a sport. It is an entry point for new fans to develop affinities to Clubs and the League, and for existing fans to increase their interest in the sport. There are constraints on the NFL’s ability to bring games to all of our core markets…Game Inventory limitations, logistics, operations and government relations being most prevalent. Though the NFL will continue to explore expanding the International Series Games to other core markets, we need another, more immediate strategy in engaging our fans in their local markets in a deep and meaningful way. NFL Experience has been launched in Times Square in Dec and offers an immersive football experience. The productiion is created / designed by Cirque de Soleil in collaboration with the NFL. NFL International is looking for a similar, portable experience to attract fans and create assets in Canada and Germany where a live game is not imminent. The experience will need to be self-sustaining / self-funded, with costs offset by various revenue drivers – investors, corporate sponsors, ticket sales, etc. NFL is open to cities within Canada and Germany to execute the experience, with an ideal scenario of flexibility to bring to multiple large cities in the market. · Structure: o Kellogg team – 4 MBA candidates o Faculty lead – Professor Russell Walker o NFL Leads § Peter Griffiths, International COO
Spring 2018 Analytical Consulting Lab: MECN 915 Department of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences Kellogg School of Management • Northwestern University Professor: Russell Walker § Michael Markovich, VP of International Media & Business Development § Akash Jain, VP of Commercial Businesses, Marketing and Fan Development § Dave Thomson, Managing Director of Canada § Nikki Ewell, Director of Fan Events · Project Deliverables: o Program Model – including proposed fan elements, P&L, city recommendations and rationale in Canada & Germany, fan growth ROI. o Sponsorship Model – recommended sponsorship structure, packages and assets (i.e. presenting partner, official partner, supplier, etc.). o Competitive Benchmarks – comps against other similar type properties (i.e. EPL, NBA, Disney, etc.). Benchmark event elements, ticket pricing if any, sponsors, venues, foot traffic, etc. · Expectations: o Creative thought within scope and boundaries. o Deep analytics on potential venues, executions and models to achieve AIM. o Concise recommendations that are actionable. o Weekly interaction with NFL Leads to provide proper guidance and steer project. o De-brief post-project on what worked / did not work and how to improve in the future. · Proposed Milestones / Timeline: o Week 0: Kickoff at Kellogg (March TBD – around Spring course schedule). o Week 5: Formal project check-in @ NFL HQ in New York with NFL project leadership and team members. o Week 10: Presentation to NFL Events, International and Marketing leadership team. · NFL Requirements: The NFL HR team has some standard documentation to note deliverables will be owned by NFL post-project and data is to be kept confidential (simple NDA).
Spring 2018 Analytical Consulting Lab: MECN 915 Department of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences Kellogg School of Management • Northwestern University Professor: Russell Walker Chicago Cubs https://www.mlb.com/cubs Background: The Chicago Cubs Strategy & Analytics and Ticketing Departments are excited to partner with the Kellogg School of Management on a project for the Analytical Consulting Lab. As the business operations at the Cubs continue to evolve, we are constantly looking to better understand our customer base and deliver best-in-class service to our fans and clients. We have identified a gap in our understanding of the secondary market demand for Cubs games and would like to engage with the Analytical Consulting Lab to close that gap. Project: The Chicago Cubs seek a deep dive analysis into the trends and drivers of customer demand for Chicago Cubs home baseball games on the secondary market. Through the Cubs agreement with StubHub, the Cubs have access to all secondary market transactions on StubHub for Cubs games which will form the primary dataset for this project. The Cubs will also provide a limited set of data related to the Cubs primary ticket market and customer demographics where available. We would like the ACL team to develop set of models that identifies the major trends in Cubs secondary market activity. Potential drivers we have discussed include (but are certainly not limited to): - Calendar effects – month, day of week, holidays, start time - Game quality effects – Cubs team performance, opponent team performance - Primary market availability and price - Other external factors – other major events in city, i.e. other sporting events, conferences, or concerts - Time to event (data show relatively predictable patterns as time to event closes) Final deliverables expected are twofold: 1. A set of analytical model(s) that will be applied to the 2018 game calendar to make predictions on transaction volume and revenue opportunity associated with each game 2. An executive summary highlighting the key findings from the research While the Cubs are agnostic to both the analytics methods used and the tools used to implement the models, we will note that our current technology stack leverages R, Python, and an Oracle data warehouse for the vast majority of our analytical needs. Students will be required to sign an NDA as part of this engagement. Additionally, given the sensitive nature of the data involved, the Chicago Cubs request that students who are season ticket holders, or have season tickets holders in their immediate family, do not participate in this project due to the potential for conflicts of interest.
Spring 2018 Analytical Consulting Lab: MECN 915 Department of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences Kellogg School of Management • Northwestern University Professor: Russell Walker Chicago Bulls The Chicago Bulls Business Strategy and Analytics Department is excited to partner with the Kellogg School of Management on a project for the Analytical Consulting Lab. The Bulls Strategy and Analytics Department is dedicated to improving revenue streams (e.g. tickets, sponsorship, merchandise), driving enhanced fan engagement, optimizing marketing efforts and helping to set the overall strategy for the organization. The specific challenge to be addressed focuses on better understanding the impact of the account service team. The group will use data captured throughout the season combined with surveys and other third party data to determine which segments of the population the service team impacts most. This is a unique opportunity to introduce yourself to the Bulls and work with employees across several functions. The Bulls look forward to collaborating with students excited about working in sports. This project is sponsor by Matt Kobe, alumnus of the the ACL and Kellogg! Bulls is also an alumni firm of the ACL!
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