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Case Study Competition 2023

On February 9th the BYU Statistics Club organized a case study competition, where teams of students presented a solution to a given business problem to industry professionals who served as judges. We were very grateful for the participation of Dr. Richardson, who wrote the prompt with assistance from Dr. Perrett, and our industry judges, who joined us from companies such as Klas, Pentara, Google, and others.
About 35 students registered in teams of 3-5 and had roughly three weeks to prepare their presentation from the date of the prompt's release at a kick-off party. The participants had to determine how video game sales related to economic conditions, and they were given three data sets to answer this question: one with video game sales, and two with a variety of economic indicators.

First, the participants had to convert these three data files (and any other data they found) into a data set that they could use to answer the question. Following this step, most teams built a statistical model, or aggregated the data with a variety of approaches, such as time series models, linear regression, and regression trees. After finding superior resources, one team even recommended throwing out the original case data! Regardless of their chosen method, as long as the team thought out and justified their approach, they could find a potential solution.

In the end, two groups won the competition, each receiving $500 to split among team members. Apart from the prizes, all the students that participated got a great addition to their resume and portfolio for future jobs. Several students even stayed behind afterwards to get advice from their experienced judges about things that they could improve. Given that this assignment was more open ended than a traditional class assignment and their data came from a variety of sources, this experience was much more realistic to their future careers as statisticians and data scientists.

This experience was a great success, and we look forward to the opportunity to do this with many more students in the years to come.

Here are a few words from our students about how they enjoyed the Competition!

"I really enjoyed the case study! It was super fun to work as a team and work on a problem without worrying about finding the 'right' answer for a grade. It was really cool to see how everyone had different ideas to answer the same question." - Jacob Johnson

"I loved participating in the case study. It was a fun experience and I learned how to apply what I am learning in statistics to real world examples. My group was a little on the fence on if we were going to participate or not but I am glad that we did!" - Claudia Caten

"I appreciated this opportunity because we had to dig to develop our own recommendations from the data rather than knowing beforehand what to expect (like in a classroom setting), which was exciting, challenging, and prepared us for real-world problems. The judges were kind enough to sit down to give us their feedback after the presentations were over; their comments helped me realize that explaining results from a complicated model in simple, concrete business terms is an important skill to develop." - Grant Nielson