Business Analytics Teams Bring Home Three Firsts


MS in Business Analytics teams from the Naveen Jindal School of Management capped the spring semester by winning three competitions.

Students Harsh Gupta and Siddharth Oza served on all three first-place teams. For them and JSOM, the first win came at UT Arlington’s annual analytics symposium. The March 29 event, “Value Through Analytics and AI,.” was hosted by UT Arlington’s Center for Innovation and Digital Transformation and Pier 1 Imports.

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From left: Harsh Gupta, competition judge Adam Carpenter of Pier 1 Imports and Siddharth Oza at the UT Arlington analytics symposium

Gupta, Oza and their teammates Rajdeep Arora and Shivank Garg earned $1,000.

Competitors were tasked with providing Pier 1 with actionable information to help the company increase its online sales and better market its products.

“In any competition, we are expected to give them actual input that they can use,” Gupta said, “but we also focus on our presentation. All our work is lost if we can’t communicate the information, and we are presenting to CEOs or experts in analytics.”

Twenty-four Jindal School MS in Business Analytics teams applied to take part in the symposium competition, according to Dr. William (Bill) Hefley, director of the program. Fifteen teams were accepted.

“Three teams were called as finalists, two from UT Dallas and one from Arlington,” Arora said. “We were first runner-up in this competition last year. This year, we wanted to finish first. It was a driving force for us.”

Another JSOM team comprised of Manish Aggarwal, Priyash Maini and Shubham Murari placed third in the symposium competition.

Business analytics students with check from compertition
After INFORMS Analytics Challenge, (from left) Harsh Gupta, Ashish Sharma and Siddharth Oza

And Jindal School business analytics students placed first in the UNT Hackathon 2019 competition at the University of North Texas in Denton on April 7. Members of the team were Gupta, Oza, Ashish Sharma and Manish Shukla.

“Our case was to build anything that can help disabled people,” Shukla said. “We built a sign-language interpreter, which is a tool to help deaf people with their daily communication needs using deep learning.”

Deep learning is a field of artificial-intelligence machine learning whose algorithms “teach” computers to figure out responses on their own.

The programming language allows users to use sign language to communicate with a camera. “When they sign into the camera, the word appears on a computer screen,” said Oza.

The third first-place win for a JSOM MS in Business Analytics team came on April 30 at the INFORMS Analytics Challenge at the Jindal School. The team of Gupta, Oza, Sharma and Amit Deshmukh received $750. The teams’ assignment was to analyze restaurant inspection data in order to identify the various factors that go into determining a restaurant’s health inspection grade.

— Glenda Vosburgh

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