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Villanova wins analytics case competition by HanesBrands

Feb '20
Pic: HanesBrands
Pic: HanesBrands
Villanova University has won the recently held, first-ever national analytics case competition at Elon University, organised by the Elon Center for Organisational Analytics and sponsored by HanesBrands’ Champion athleticwear. HanesBrands is a socially responsible leading marketer of everyday basic innerwear and activewear apparel, headquartered in the US.

Villanova University topped 10 other teams to win the title and the first-place prize of $6,000. The winning team, led by Meredith Lockyer, director of the centre for business analytics at Villanova School of Business, included sophomores Sean Oates, Padraig Loftus, and Bryan Kent, according to HanesBrands.

In advance of the competition, teams were presented with a problem and data set that included historical Champion sales data. Based on this information, the teams were asked to develop estimated sales patterns and projected demand for 20 new products during a 13-week period, including a full analysis of the projected performance of the products.

Teams from East Tennessee State University and William & Mary finished second and third place, respectively. Other schools fielding teams, which consisted of three students and an accompanying faculty member, included Arizona State University, Auburn University, Elon University, Loyola University Maryland, UNC Greensboro, University of Massachusetts - Lowell, University of Tennessee, and Wake Forest University.

This marked the third year HanesBrands has sponsored an analytics case competition at Elon, but the first time the competition has been opened to other schools. Although most participants were majoring in fields closely associated with business analytics, the competition also featured students in computer science, accounting, statistics, finance, international business and more.

Each team gave a 15-minute presentation to a panel of judges. Each was judged on the quality of the solution and whether they adequately addressed each of the questions presented; analytic methodology and modelling; delivery of presentation; and responses to questions from the judges. Based on the presentations, four teams were chosen to compete in the next round.

Finalists were given two and a half hours to solve a new problem. Using the 13-week projected demand data from round one, students were asked for a full evaluation of the starting inventory numbers for the 20 new products. The case competition winners were selected after presenting solutions to this problem.

“Partnering with Champion always brings tremendous excitement to our campus. Hosting our first-ever national analytics case competition offers an incredible opportunity for students to compete against the best in the country and learn from some of the top professionals in the industry,” Haya Ajjan, associate professor of management information systems at Elon University said.

“Analytics case competitions require a combination of technical analysis and business acumen that really test the teams’ ability to analyse complex real-world scenarios. Participants have to bring a certain level of curiosity to the competition and translate the highly analytical work into actionable business recommendations,” Ben Martin, chief data analytics officer at HanesBrands said.

“The case competition demonstrated a level of student engagement that was second to none. All of the participants put forward a strong effort. We witnessed our leaders of tomorrow approaching a challenge with keen insights and sound business fundamentals. It was energising to be part of this valuable initiative,” Jon Ram, group president of global activewear at HanesBrands said.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (GK)

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