Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative Hosts Inaugural Analytics Accelerator Summit

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PHILADELPHIA – The Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative (WCAI) of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School will host an inaugural Analytics Accelerator Summit, a complimentary afternoon event for companies seeking resources and insight on doing better business with their data. The Summit will serve as the culminating event of WCAI’s pilot Analytics Accelerator Challenge, which invited companies to submit a data analytics problem for a chance to win a month-long engagement with top Penn students and Wharton Faculty. The Challenge was launched in response to high demand for scaling analytics across industries, combined with WCAI’s current goal of training the next generation of data scientists with a learning-by-doing approach.

Taking place from 1 pm – 6 pm on Friday, November 17, 2017 at the Pennovation Center, the Analytics Accelerator Summit will feature student overviews of the Analytics Accelerator Challenge projects, lightning talks from Wharton Professors Eric T. Bradlow, Raghuram Iyengar and Serguei Netessine, an industry-led panel discussion with Nathan Richter of URBN, Inc. and Tom Vladeck of Gradient and Drew Schulz of Refractive Ventures on storing, modeling, and interpreting data into insights, and an opportunity to network with other analytics-oriented companies, vendors, student clubs and other resource providers. The event is open to companies from all growth stages and sectors, from startups who are looking to orient their infrastructure towards data and analytics methods, to established companies looking to put their existing data to work.

As for the Challenge winners, WCAI is pleased to announce that the selected companies include Clientivity.com, Coqovins, Madison Reed and URBN, Inc. Student teams will be presenting their proposed solutions back to the companies on the morning of November 17, followed by the open public Summit in the afternoon, which will kick-off with brief overviews of the projects for a wider audience. Each team, guided by a Wharton Faculty member, is comprised of ambitious students from both the Wharton School and the School of Engineering and Applied Science, and is actively developing a solution to a real-world customer analytics problem, ranging from web scraping and customer segmentation, to cross-brand analysis and predicting drop-off within a customer journey.

The Analytics Accelerator Challenge has already proven to be an invaluable learning opportunity for students. They start with an understanding of how to frame a managerial problem, dive deep into the data and extract valuable insight from sophisticated analysis. An important final component of the Accelerator is for students to convey their insights back to the company in a way that it can be immediately actionable.

WCAI hopes to continue to engage with all Accelerator Challenge applicants, drawing from an extensive body of academic research and insight and an ever-expanding network of alumni, working to lead and innovate in analytics across a wide range of industries. “We were blown away by the enthusiasm and commitment to analytics demonstrated across the Accelerator Challenge company applicants, and we are motivated to explore ways we can be a valuable resource to them all over time, starting with the Summit in November,” says Professor Iyengar.

The Analytics Accelerator Summit requires advanced registration, and seats are limited. Light fare will be provided, as well as a closing reception.

Media Contact

Peter Winicov, Director, Media Relations, the Wharton School

winicov@upenn.edu or +1-215-746-6471


About the Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative

The Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative (WCAI) is the world’s preeminent academic research center focusing on the development and application of customer analytics methods. Through our innovative Research Opportunity program and R&D “crowdsourcing” approach, WCAI enables academic researchers from around the world to help companies understand how to better monetize the individual-level data they collect about customers through the development and application of new predictive models. We marry our work with companies and researchers around the world with a range of co-curricular student programs that foster talent development and recruitment.


About the Wharton School

Founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is recognized globally for intellectual leadership and ongoing innovation across every major discipline of business education. With a broad global community and one of the most published business school faculties, Wharton creates economic and social value around the world. The School has 5,000 undergraduate, MBA, executive MBA, and doctoral students; more than 9,000 participants in executive education programs annually and a powerful alumni network of 96,000 graduates.