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OCU team wins national business analytics contest

Business analytics team
From left: Charlie Freeman, Ben Kelly, Tyler Laurick, Lauren Snare and professor Jacob Dearmon

A team of students from Oklahoma City University’s Meinders School of Business won the annual Business Analytics Competition hosted by Manhattan College in New York over the weekend.

The team from OCU included Lauren Snare, Tyler Laurick, Ben Kelly and Charlie Freeman. The team advisor is Jacob Dearmon, economics professor and director of the Ronnie K. Irani Center for Data Analytics at OCU.

“I am so proud of our students,” Dearmon said. “Their analysis appealed to both academic and industry judges alike; namely highly targeted, value-added recommendations based on sound technical analysis communicated in a visually appealing way. As our students wrestled with the complexities of this challenge, they made extensive use of skills either learned in the classroom or on this project. A special thanks to Ronnie Irani, whose support of analytics-related endeavors at OCU makes things like participation in this competition possible.”

The contest is held every spring, with this year’s event held virtually due to the pandemic. Competing teams draw business insight from a comprehensive analysis of relevant data, then make decision recommendations based on their research. The research is translated to a poster presentation and shared with a panel of judges. Nearly 30 college teams competed this year.

The research topic this year was about New York housing statistics. The OCU team found that homeownership in New York is decreasing due to barriers including expensive down payments and rising prices, along with the financial impact of the pandemic. The team showed how and where the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development could raise the homeownership rate with increases in assistance programs.

The Ronnie K. Irani Center for Data Analytics opened in 2015 as part of the Steven C. Agee Economic Research & Policy Institute. Its mission is to provide clients from industry or other academic institutions with value-added insights through highly customized analytic solutions, including predictive analytics that are adapted to their unique needs, along with innovative research to design and investigate new analytic paradigms and methods. It also seeks to offer real world learning opportunities to students through funded research and client-based projects.

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