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MSc students bring classroom learning to the real world for Hack the Case

Apr 16, 2024

Hack the Case winning team

The winning team (l-r): Chengyu Huang, Yahan Raveendran, Marlee Zheng, Connor Craig, Marissa Pasquariello, and Nikki Dmytryshyn.

We live in a world full of data that has enormous potential to drive change, but only if we know how to derive insights from it.

Ivey’s MSc Business Analytics  students learned to do just that for the 2024 Hack the Case competition, where they analyzed real customer and member data from Scotiabank’s SCENE+ program to determine ways to transition SCENE members into banking customers.

The event, which ran April 1-15, was sponsored by DeloitteSASScotiabank, and the Centre for Advanced Computing, and included a training program on SAS software just prior to the challenge kick-off on April 4 where the case was revealed. During the kick-off, the students heard from representatives from Scotiabank, Deloitte, and SAS and learned how the opportunity to dig through big data sets and analyze a business problem with tight time constraints will prepare them for the real world of business.

“Being able to do the analytics to generate insights will give you an edge. It helps you to understand what might be and gives you an understanding of organizational contexts,” said MSc Program Faculty Director Warren Ritchie. “You are learning specialty skills that will be appreciated in the marketplace.”

After that, the students worked in teams over the remaining period to develop a presentation to deliver to a panel of judges at Deloitte’s Toronto office on April 15.

Learning to adapt, debate, and innovate

Dionne Adoteye, an MSc student who participated in the event, said the experience was like stepping into a miniature version of the real world where every decision mattered and every strategy was tested.

“It was not just about applying what I’ve learned over the years, but also about adapting to new challenges and finding innovative solutions,” she said. “This competition was a reminder that the path to success is often paved with challenges, debates, and changes to the original plan, but it’s the journey that makes the destination worthwhile.”

Fellow MSc student Nikki Dmytryshyn, whose team, “Bees Knees,” won the competition, said it was a great opportunity to apply her classroom learning to the real world.

“I had a lot of fun working with my team, formulating and testing different solutions and navigating the large dataset together. It’s a great transition into our internships, reminding us to think critically, be adaptable, and persevere in problem-solving,” she said.

Congratulations to the winners

Congratulations to Team "Bees Knees" for winning the 2024 competition. Along with Nikki Dmytryshyn team members included Connor Craig, Chengyu Huang, Marissa Pasquariello, Yahan Raveendran, and Marlee Zheng.

And congratulations also to the runners-up, “Ivey MS-cene,” which included Kayla Bryson, Montek Chandhoke, Navneet Kaur, Naomi Orakpo, Kaven Rempel, and Aiswarya Suresh.

Thank you to the judges

Deloitte: Sonia Solova, Leo Romano, Marco Conde

SAS: Simon Sun, Lorne Rothman, Ron Yee

Scotiabank: Suren Manjrekar, Priyanka Shah, Michael Bonnick

Ivey: Warren Ritchie, Jason Chew

Thank you to the mentors

Deloitte: Sai Ananth, MSc ’19; Jenny Ge, HBA '16; Jake Janicki, MSc ’22; Wiam Ben Karroum; Andrew Klein, MSc ’22; Honbria Lee, HBA ’22; Tamara Mahbubani; Afshin Nensi, MSc ’19; Vrushang Patel; and Sandeep Sansarwal.
SAS: Sally Cheung, Amy Danter, Tom Galimanas, Shima Pishnamaz, Danny Sprukulis, and Pat Valente.