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MSc Hack the Case

Our MSc Program offers an experience that will jump-start your business analytics career

Armed with a mountain of customer data, teams of Ivey MSc students analyze a real-world business problem under tight time constraints. What do they get out of it? More than they ever imagined.

Why consider
Hack the Case?

Why consider
Hack the Case?


Data analysis is not just a wave of the future. It is the future of business. Knowing how to analyze complex and large data to make fact-based decisions will be required in the coming age of disruption and change. Are you ready? How will you know you have what it takes? Hack the Case, a part of Ivey’s MSc Program, gives you a sneak preview of the challenges that lie ahead. Hack the Case is a business analytics competition offered exclusively to students in Ivey’s MSc Business Analytics stream. It gives them a chance to solve real problems for real companies and see the solutions come to life.

Ivey’s 16-month MSc Program is a transformational experience for recent grads who want to hone their skill sets, develop their leadership abilities, and kick-start their careers.

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Mark Vandenbosch.jpg

“Hack the Case supports our mission at Ivey to prepare students for what lies ahead. Working with corporate leaders from Deloitte, SAS, and Scotiabank, we are simulating pressure-packed scenarios and problems that will prepare students for the data-driven careers of the 21st century.”

Mark Vandenbosch, Ivey Business School, Kraft Professor in Marketing

What is
Hack the Case?

What is
Hack the Case?


The Ivey MSc Hack the Case event, presented by Deloitte and SAS, is an intense competition that will give you an opportunity to work with real data provided by a client – currently Scotiabank – that is facing a business challenge. During the allotted preparation time, you’ll work with your team of fellow MSc students to analyze the data to understand Scotiabank’s business problem and determine a recommendation. The challenge will be revealed at a kick-off event on the first day of the competition. On the final day of the competition, you’ll travel to the Deloitte office in Toronto where you will present your final recommendation to the client and a panel of judges.

“Analytics skills are a critical component of highly qualified personnel in today’s knowledge economy. Ivey’sHack the Case Competition exposes students to real-life data and toolsets – we’re excited to partner again with Ivey on this year’s challenge.”
—Chris MacPhee, Systems Operations Manager, Centre for Advanced Computing @ Queen’s University.

The Deloitte Toronto office is the ideal environment to brainstorm. The Centre for Advanced Computing at Queen’s University supplies the server and hosts the data.

Who will you meet?

Who will you meet?


Your team will work with mentors from Deloitte and SAS throughout the competition. During the first three days of the competition, you’ll also receive intensive corporate training from SAS employees. You’ll learn from their expertise and get a chance to build relationships with data-focused professionals. It’s great for your resumé and will help you hit the ground running when you graduate.

Mark Morreale

“From the market perspective, SAS Analytics skills are wanted. Deloitte and Scotiabank both have people here at the competition. From the market perspective, SAS Analytics skills are wanted. Deloitte and Scotiabank both have people here at the competition. We can help create that link between academics and the industry itself.”

Mark Morreale, Academic Program Manager, SAS Canada Academic Program

What is the
experience like?

What is the experience like?


The inaugural event – April 21-May 1, 2017

Setting the SCENE for Scotiabank

The challenge: Each team was presented with a set of real, but masked, customer data from Scotiabank’s SCENE loyalty card program and was required to solve a business problem: How do you convert SCENE loyalty customers who don’t bank at Scotiabank to banking or Visa card customers? Typical promotional campaigns might go to 50,000 or 100,000 people at once, which can be costly. The students identified smaller micro-targeting groups that might be more likely to respond to a focused message.




corporate partners


million SCENE customer data points


big challenge


A panel of judges chooses the winners based on their strategic insights and management acumen. Through the Ivey Analytics Lab, some of the students also had their practicum experiences with Scotiabank and Deloitte, so Hack the Case prepared them for what might lie ahead.

The prizes:

Hack the Case winners
The 2017 winning team, The Hack Street Boys, took home $1,000.

1st place – $1,000
2nd place – $500
3rd place – $500


Hack the Case is a different kind of student experience and it’s getting noticed. Read the coverage:

Ivey news article IT World Canada article

Andreas Schotter

“This experience is like drinking from a firehose – having the experiences with the companies. I am excited to see how Scotiabank will use the insights from the students to actually leverage the data in the day-to-day business.”

Andreas Schotter, Assistant Professor of International Business, and Academic Director of the CEMS Global Alliance Masters in International Management program

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thumb Rohin Attrey

Rohin Attrey
MSc ’18

“The magnitude of the problem posed a great deal of challenges, which meant that it was sometimes difficult to set a clear vision, but it was a great learning experience.

thumb Julia Bu

Julia Bu
MSc ’18

“It feels very real. It’s all very dynamic and everything is uncertain so there’s a lot of ambiguity in this situation.”

thumb Liam Corrigan

Liam Corrigan
MSc ’18

“It was super overwhelming being thrown in the deep end and just treading water right away.”

Where will
you go?

Where will
you go?


Research shows that even modest investments in data analysis can give companies impressive gains and competitive advantage. Yet there is a shortage of talented individuals with both the technical knowledge and strategic acumen to extract meaningful insights and make data-based decisions. Events like Hack the Case will help you to develop the skills, capabilities, and experiences that the companies of today – and tomorrow – are looking for. Ivey’s MSc Business Analytics graduates go on to work at companies such as BCE Inc., Pricing Solutions, Metrolinx, Deloitte, Scotiabank, and many more.

Greg Zaric

“The single biggest value-add is the idea of working with an enormous dataset and solving a sort of vague problem without a roadmap of how to get there.”

Greg Zaric, Professor, Management Science, Ivey Business School, Faculty Director of Ivey’s MSc in Management, and J. Allyn Taylor & Arthur H. Mingay Chair in Management Science

How do I
get started?

How do I get started?


Hack the Case is part of the Ivey MSc in Management Business Analytics Program. Find out if it’s a fit for you.

Download a brochure Submit your profile

navin singh

“We wanted the students to be able to use real data so that they could create solutions that would be applicable in the real world.”

Navin Singh, Director of Partnerships, Marketing Strategy, and Development; Scotiabank

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