Wharton’s WCAI spotlights 21st century data-driven business challenges

WCAI Student-Alumni networking event at Wharton San Francisco
WCAI Student-Alumni networking event at Wharton San Francisco

The Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative (WCAI) is a leading voice on campus for realizing the potential of big data and customer analytics. Whether student career interests lie with tech-startups hoping to reimagine data exchange and mining; consulting firms that help more establish companies transform their strategic decision-making; or even venture capitalists interested in leveraging analytics to identify solid, high-yield investments—WCAI can help.

Corporate Partnerships
WCAI continues to build strong relationships with corporate partners around the world who donate their time and data to help solve long-term business challenges. WCAI works with partners to map their data assets and strategic needs, and then helps match companies to global research teams that can develop new and innovative analytic models. Managing 5-10 Research Opportunities in any given year, WCAI remains the world’s preeminent academic research center focusing on customer analytics.

Student Programs
WCAI leverages its network of forward-thinking companies like StubHub, Expedia, Urban Outfitters, PG&E, and Google to build important connections among students, alumni, and companies who are interested in this new way of doing business. Key WCAI activity includes:

  • Offering MBA courses in customer analytics led by WCAI faculty Co-Directors, Eric Bradlow and Peter Fader, and Executive Director, Elea Feit
  • Hosting guest speakers and recruitment visits from top players in the field, including Google, Electronic Arts, Caesar’s Entertainment, Marriott, and tech entrepreneurs & venture capitalists
  • Helping companies define analytics talent management and recruitment in this new and emerging space — and matching them with Wharton students
  • Sponsoring student club conferences and securing key panelists
  • Affording tech-savvy students an opportunity to work on corporate partner projects
  • Organizing student-alumni networking events in Philadelphia, San Francisco, and beyond

Moving Forward
It’s been an exciting year for WCAI and analytics at Wharton. With the completion of over 10 successful Research Opportunities, WCAI is continually expanding the range and depth of its student programs with support from alumni and new corporate partners focused on student development. In addition to expanding its current co-curricular activities, WCAI is rolling out formal programs for students to participate in the Research Opportunity process at all levels of corporate partner engagement (more to come on the MBA pilot program in the Spring ’14 semester!). 

And perhaps most important, there’s a vibrant and growing analytics community here on campus with students driving conference agendas and their own recruitment networks—culminating in the creation this year of a data and analytics sub-group that draws from both the Wharton Marketing and Tech clubs.

Learn more about WCAI at http://www.wharton.upenn.edu/wcai/.