Fall 2015 was a significant quarter for the Orfalea College of Business. One of the significant events was the start of our graduate course offerings in business analytics. In addition, many of the college areas added undergraduate offerings in analytics. “In the marketing area, we knew our undergraduate and graduate students needed to show they could analyze data; gone are the days of marketing strategy, content or creativity driving decisions without data,” said Brennan Davis, associate professor of marketing. Davis is the creator of the marketing analytics course for undergraduate marketing majors and a strategic marketing analytics course for business analytics graduate students.
Students in Davis’ first marketing analytics courses delivered a real-world project for Dmytro Marushkevych, director of analytics for Rosetta in San Luis Obispo. The students analyzed data for Rosetta’s client, a multinational global 100 smartphone brand. The project centered around connecting unstructured data from sources like Amazon.com, eBay and Twitter with a big database of customer responses to a series of recent online marketing campaigns. Marushkevych said the project was valuable to Rosetta and its client. “One the teams in particular came back with a little nugget that really got the attention of the client,” he said.
The project was also a collaboration with two Cal Poly computer science courses. Marketing analytics students modeled the practice they will likely have in future jobs by acting as marketing agents managing requests to an IT department, represented by students in a graduate-level distributed systems taught by Chris Lupo, associate professor of computer science. “The distributed systems students worked on an interdisciplinary team with a real, external client. They developed software to aggregate data from a number of internet data sources,” explained Lupo.
They also collaborated with an undergraduate database systems class taught by Lubomir Stanchev, associate professor of computer science. Stanchev added, “The database students were happy to get experience solving real-world problems. In the spirit of Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing motto, students had hands-on experience working with a real-world database and writing queries that represent real-world customer requirements.”