Analytical Consulting Lab Syllabus Spring 2018 Jan 22, 2018 Update

 
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 russell-walker@kellogg.northwestern.edu
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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