Google Analytics Competition Brings Focus to Data-Centered Marketing Careers

A team of two women faced off against 11 competing groups to win the 2018 Google Analytics Competition organized by the Texas A&M University-Commerce Department of Marketing and Business Analytics.

“With the growth and success in insights and better outcomes, the marketing field has attracted more students of which approximately half are women,” said Dr. Chris Myers, department head and professor for the department of marketing and business analytics. “Women do find analytics a field that is very diverse in skills and technology which will provide for more opportunities from a diverse field of students.”

Nianqi Liu and Nneoma Iheonunekwu, both business analytics graduate students, won first place in the competition.

“Taking part in the competition was a great and stimulating opportunity to work on a real world problem and provide solutions to it,” Iheonunekwu said. “Winning first place reinforces the fact that our professors in the marketing and business analytics department are doing their job in impacting us with the knowledge and skills we need to grow and succeed in the work force.”

The purpose of the competition is to give students an opportunity to apply theoretical analysis models to real world situations and use what they learned in the classroom to address practical challenges.

“My teammate and I were really happy and proud of winning and we both agree that it is good for our career to do more of this kind of competition and solve more real-world problems,” Liu said. “I sincerely hope that there are more competitions like this to motivate students to get engaged and learn things from it.”

For the competition, students are given two years’ worth of Google Analytics data from the Marketing & Business Analytics Department website and are asked for insights on site visitors, their behaviors, and managerial implications of the data set.

“The reason we choose Google Analytics is twofold: first, it’s very popular. Nearly half of the top 1 million websites are using this system to track their traffic and performance. Second, it provides real time data,” said Dr. Bo Han, assistant professor for business analytics. “Students can apply theories learned in the class to the dynamic real world challenges.”

After performing a written analysis based on the given data, a panel of judges selected the top three teams. For the second round of the competition, the three team finalists performed an oral presentation based on the teams’ project submission.

Judges for this year’s competition were Jay Demmler, senior principal IT Architect at Raytheon, Adeline Chauvancy, quality assurance analyst at American Airlines and A&M-Commerce graduate, and Dr. Mohamed Komak and Dr. Son Bui, A&M-Commerce business analytics assistant professors.