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        Business Analytics and Information Systems, Case Competitions

        Team MLM wins Harbert’s second-annual Business Analytics Case Competition

        November 24, 2023 By Madilyn Ford

        All News


        Team MLM

        Team MLM won the first place prize in the second-annual Business Analytics Case Competition. Left to right: Matthew Freestone, Morgan Jones, and Lorissa Algarin.

        Photo courtesy of Julie Bennett

        One-hundred Auburn undergraduate students from 20 different majors participated in the second-annual Business Analytics Case Competition , where they put their diverse classroom knowledge to the test.

        “As coordinator, I had the pleasure to witness the hard work and commitment of all the teams,” said Pei Xu, a George Philips Privett Associate Professor of Business Analytics in Harbert.  

        The 35 teams were comprised of students hailing from the Harbert College of Business, Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, College of Liberal Arts, College of Architecture, Design and Construction, and the College of Nursing, and they competed for $10,000 in prize money. Following the first round of submissions, five faculty judges selected six teams to present in the final competition on November 10th.  

        Tasked with analyzing customer service and sales data from case sponsor The Home Depot, the teams were able to put their problem-solving skills to the test by creating a functional business solution. 

        The first-place prize of $5,000 went to Team MLM, composed of Morgan Jones, Matthew Freestone, and Lorissa Algarin. Jones, an accounting junior, said that one of the biggest lessons she learned from this experience was the importance of different perspectives in creating well-rounded business solutions, as her team also contained a senior in public relations and a computer science student.  

        “Our proposal, which we named ‘Right and Ready,’ focused on key customer service metrics that would provide the most valuable opportunities for Home Depot to gain a competitive edge and enhance their customer service in regard to using in-store pickup,” said Jones.  

        “This competition reinforced the importance of cross-functional teams and taught me that my skills can be applied and valuable in non-traditional work environments,” said Algarin, the senior in public relations, referring to the multi-disciplinary nature of her team.   

        “What we love about this competition is that it isn’t limited to our students, it is open to all the university, and anyone can compete,” said Department of Business Analytics and Information Systems Chair Uzma Raja, noting that many students from other disciplines have declared business analytics or information systems minors since the inaugural case competition last year. 

        Team BASYC Solutions

        Second place winners Team BASYC Solutions. Left to right: Julianne Lozano, Hunter Porch, Thomas Redifer, and Regie Lagman.

        Photo courtesy of Julie Bennett

        Finishing second, Team BASYC Solutions received the $3,500 prize. Team Byte Busters received third place and a $1,500 prize. Team member and President of Women in Technology (WIT) Kate Strickland said that it was WIT that brought her team together. 

        “We were able to get to know one another better through the club,” said Strickland, “and when we heard about the case competition, we knew we wanted to do it together.” 

        “Our proposal focused on the order pick up process, optimized labor hours, and maintaining the human element in customer service,” said Kaylee Wesolowski a business analytics senior on Team Byte Busters.  

        “The bar keeps getting higher and higher,” said Raja, the Gayle Parks Forehand Professor in Business Analytics, in reference to the success of this year’s competition. 

        Team Byte Busters

        Third place winners Team Byte Busters. Left to Right: Kate Strickland, Kaylee Wesolowski, and Leah Monroe.

        Photo courtesy of Julie Bennett

        In addition to the growing numbers of participants, this year’s competition also hosted an exhibition event, where students met with companies like OCV, Alfa Insurance, Bonnie Plants, LLC, Deloitte, Regions Bank, and The Home Depot.   

        Special thanks to The Home Depot employees and judges James Dorris, senior manager of Data Analytics, Auburn alum Conor McCleary, and Tito Nieves; as well as judges Terry O’Connor from IGH Hotels & Resorts and Auburn alum Ivana Muzaric from Regions Bank.  

        “We were just really impressed from what we saw from each of you here today,” said Dorris, who agreed with Raja that the bar has definitely been raised. 

        The Department of Business Analytics and Information Systems Program also acknowledges the hard work of the following individuals in making the case competition a success: 


        The Harbert College of Business which is celebrating the 10th anniversary of Raymond and Kathryn Harbert's transformational naming gift, is a nationally ranked hub of undergraduate, graduate and continuing business education that is inspiring the next generation of business leaders. Our world-class faculty deliver unparalleled academic rigor in the classroom, while our research-driven scholarship advances thought leadership and best practice across business disciplines. The largest college on Auburn's campus, Harbert enrolls more than 6,900 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students.