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Students Earn ‘A’ for Analytics Acumen

December 17, 2019

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Now that the world is saturated with data, what social and business benefits can be expected? Twenty-three MBA student teams presented answers to that question at MIT’s Analytics Lab Final Presentations December 13. A panel of academic and business experts chose one winning team and two runners-up.

As part of the MIT Analytics Lab (A-Lab) course, student teams select and deliver a real-world project using analytics, machine learning, or other digital technologies to solve actual business problems. The course, which runs each fall semester, is presented by the Initiative on the Digital Economy and is part of MIT Sloan School of Management’s suite of Action Learning offerings. It is led by MIT IDE director Erik Brynjolfsson and  the course co-instructor, MIT Sloan Assistant Professor,  Abdullah Almaatouq.  Many details of the project are confidential, but several of the sponsoring organizations will implement the student solutions.

This year’s winning team was sponsored by Accenture and Eaton Vance Management where students applied analytics to help predict future M&A activity. The team members were: Abraham Eaton, Gabrielle Rappaport, Alexandru Socolov, and Nova Zhang (pictured, above). They were mentored by Ravi Subrahmanyan and Thomas Stephens.

The other exceptional teams represented the City of Dallas and Internacional Clinic in Peru. In the case of Dallas, the city is hoping to better anticipate and reduce fires in order to relieve its resource-constrained fire department. For the Peruvian healthcare system, the goal is more efficient patient care.

The 2019 judges were: Professor Gary King of Harvard; Research Professor Kristina Lerman, University of Southern California; Sandy Pentland Lead of MIT IDE, and Professor Foster Provost, New York University. They rated the presentations on effort, creativity, business impact, and presentation.

During its first five years, A-Lab has attracted a total of 300 students from a dozen MIT departments to work on over ninety projects spanning IoT, digital technology, platforms, finance, e-commerce, retail, manufacturing, medical supply chains, workplace safety, and global health. 

Winning team with judges and MIT faculty leaders.