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Marketing Competition Offers Training — and Prize Money!

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MS in Marketing Program Director Alex Edsel is pitching what he considers a pretty attractive twofer: One, a chance for Jindal School undergraduate and graduate students to get trained on an easy-to-use data analytics platform with some cool artificial intelligence traits, and two, a same-day opportunity to use the platform to win money in a competition. Good news for you, the deadline to register has been extended to Thursday, April 14, 2016. 

And he is throwing in a free lunch, too.

Edsel is packaging all this in the Morris Hite Center-IBM Marketing Customer Insights Competition, an all-day event on Saturday, May 7.

The MS in Marketing program is partnering with IBM to use IBM’s Watson Analytics platform in the afternoon competition. But before that takes place, students who sign up and are chosen to compete, will learn how to use the tool in a morning workshop conducted by an IBM instructor.

Alex Edsel

Edsel describes Watson Analytics as a “spinoff” of IBM’s Watson, a computer system specifically designed to compete on the TV quiz show Jeopardy! where it won $1 million in challenges against two past top champions.

With natural language and cognitive intelligence skills, Watson — named for IBM’s first CEO, Thomas J. Watson — works in the artificial intelligence realm.

To a lesser extent, so does Watson Analytics, Edsel says. Calling it a cognitive tool that democratizes data analytics, Edsel says it can upload data — numbers, statistics, results — “and then give you options for you to further drill down into and ask additional questions. It makes it easier to do analytics, presenting insights and recommendations as they relate to problems and opportunities.”

Those who sign up for the competition — in teams of two to four students — will be trained in JSOM labs from 9 a.m. until 11:30 a.m.

Sack lunches then will be distributed, and in the afternoon, using what they have just learned, JSOM teams will compete against contestants from other North Texas universities in a 4½-hour challenge to deliver insights they derive from a dataset about the airline industry.

Judges from IBM and other companies will grade the entries, and by about 5 p.m., the first-place team will be winning $2,000 plus dinner (at a later date) with a top member of the IBM Watson Analytics team. Second place finishers will get $1,000, and the third-place team will get $500.

Check out details — such as: you can preview Watson Analytics for free on a trial basis and you need to bring your own laptop to the competition — get your questions answered and register at Customer Insights Competition Spring 2016.

Kris Imherr

Kris Imherr

Kris Imherr, the Jindal School’s communications director, has a BA in English and an MS in journalism. She is proud of them both and happily puts them to use on JSOM’s behalf. She thinks JSOM Perspectives is a great idea and encourages everyone with a point of view and a pencil to contribute.

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