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Business Analytics: A Reflection on Term 1

  • Ivey MSc Students
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  • Jun 7, 2017
Business Analytics: A Reflection on Term 1

"Hack the Case" Competition May 2017.

Ivey Business School/Gabe Ramos

Ivey MSc in Management students in Business Analytics Pearl, Emikele and Marium reflect on their first term in the MSc program. In this blog post, these three talented ladies share their insights on the program thus far and preparing for their Ivey Analytics (IAL) placements for the next 9-10 weeks. 


Our first term as graduate students at Ivey has been a truly phenomenal experience. As students in the Business Analytics stream, our schedules were jam-packed from Day One with course work, technical computing workshops, extracurricular activities, and events organized by both our Student Association and the Ivey administration. The overarching goal of the first term in the MSc program is for Ivey faculty and staff to help prepare the BA students for success at their Ivey Analytics Lab (IAL) placements which take place over the summer term.


2018 Business Analytics Class with Professor Bell, IAL Training. 

People & Culture

The 2018 graduating class has doubled in size since the first cohort in 2017, and we’re so excited to hear that the program is only going to grow in size with each successive cohort after us. This year our class is comprised of 40 bright and inquisitive students from different countries, and different academic backgrounds. What we share however is our relentless pursuit of academic excellence. We’ve found classroom diversity to be key when it comes to having lively case discussions and effectively working together on group assignments. The individuals in our class are enthusiastic, collaborative, and extremely dedicated to learning. Our diverse personalities and educational backgrounds allow each of us to bring unique strengths and perspectives to our class discussions. From the sheer amount of time spent together inside and outside of class, our group has created many great memories over the course of just four months, and we have become incredibly tight-knit.

 Global Ivey Day May 2017. Photo @Iveymscstudentlife


For many of us in the class, everything about this term was a major transition. The students in our class primarily came from STEM undergraduate backgrounds and had little to no experience with case-based learning. It was strange having to raise our hands in class for contribution marks, and give multiple presentations throughout the term. Once we got into the swing of things and became more comfortable with our classmates, any fear we had quickly dissipated, and we were eager to have the class hear our solutions to case problems and to contribute each class.  


As fun as our cohort is, the program is a lot of work and absolutely keeps you on your toes. Our courses are unique from other Ivey classes, in that we are expected to solve normal business problems using technical solutions. We often develop analyses around a statistical hypothesis or back up a strategy with quantifiable proof before stating our opinions. In addition to the course work, we participated in programming workshops throughout the semester that introduced us to languages such as R, SQL, VBA, and SAS. These workshops not only provided hands-on learning, but the underlying expectation is that these technical skills will be utilized during our IALs in the summer. Additionally, Career Management provided valuable sessions throughout the term used to help us to refine our personal brands, and guide us in our quest for the perfect job straight out of Ivey.


End of Term 

To wrap up the term, the BA students participated in ‘Hack the Case’, a technology consulting hackathon-type case competition sponsored by Ivey, Deloitte, SAS, and Scotiabank. Three days of technical training for SAS were provided in advance to prepare the groups for our intense week of data manipulation. Having used R for statistical programming in every class this term, SAS was not too difficult to pick up.

Inaugural International Business VS. Business Analytics Football Game! Final Score BA- 49, IB -28. Photo: @Iveymscstudentlife

The premise of the case was to mine through 50 GB of anonymous SCENE (Scotiabank’s subsidiary loyalty program) data and develop insights as to which subset of members were most likely to open a Scotiabank Visa or debit card and at the last minute we were asked to figure out when the client should roll out their targeted marketing plan. Each team used a variety of techniques to tackle the case including machine learning, survival analysis, linear and logistic regression models to identify target segments and valuable characteristics within them. Our competitive sides came out immediately, and the entire class spent all our waking hours at Ivey to overcome what seemed like an infinite amount of technical difficulties. We ran into new problems each day, thankfully, we were paired with supportive mentors from SAS and Deloitte. On the final day of the competition, we bussed out to Deloitte Greenhouse in Toronto to present our results, pitch our solution to the client, and network with employees from Deloitte, SAS and Scotiabank.

Hack the Case was an incredible opportunity for our class to obtain the first-hand experience as technology consultants. That week, we were given the chance to use real data and attempt to solve a real problem and have major business leaders critique our work. We got a chance to apply everything we learned over the first term and to assess our abilities last-minute before starting our summer placements. This was also our chance to test personal limits, to see if this niche career path was a good fit, whether we could keep up with the pace and whether the work was well-suited for each of us.

Read more about Hack the Case here.




Over the last few weeks, our class has begun our IAL placements at various companies spread across Toronto, London, and Ottawa. We’ll definitely keep you updated on our placements in the coming months, stay tuned!

 - Pearl, Emi & Marium

Keep up to date with our Students IGL & IAL experiences on Instagram @Iveymscstudentlife and Twitter @IveyMScStudents


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