OnAnalytics Spring 2013
OnAnalytics, IBA's online magazine, is designed to communicate Kelley faculty research to a broad audience of business leaders, students, consultants, and other academics interested in analytics. Each article illustrates the use of analytics to better understand and improve decision capabilities in a variety of contexts.
This issue features articles by six Kelley School faculty members from our Departments of Finance, Business Economics, Marketing, and Operations and Decision Technologies. To highlight some recent examples of our students finding more and more career opportunities in analytics, we also feature projects of our MBA and MS in Information Systems students.
Learning by Trading and Learning to Quit
Noah Stoffman, Assistant Professor of Finance
Individual investors appear to improve their performance over time, yet some outperform others despite a lack of professional training. Are these investors naturally gifted or are they acquiring skills in some distinct way? This study untangles this question to reveal that learning corresponds to trading activity rather than the duration of the trading period. Moreover, the primary way new traders appear to learn is not to hone their strategy, but to recognize their low ability and quit.
Taking Stock of SKUs
Ryan Melnikas, MBA ’13, majoring in marketing and business analytics
With 10,000 SKUs (stock-keeping units) and counting, one of the largest direct marketers in the United States asked MBA student and intern Ryan Melnikas to help the company figure out how its customers shop, what they value, and what SKUs they could pull from their packed shelves. He analyzed the data to discover which products were contributing to the company’s bottom line and which were costing it money.
Accounting for Price Differences for Identical Medigap Coverage
Haizhen Lin and Matthijs R. Wildenbeest, Assistant Professors of Business Economics
Each Medigap supplemental insurance plan is the same, no matter the private insurer selling it. However, what seniors pay for that Medigap plan can differ by hundreds or even thousands of dollars, even within the same state. This study evaluates why such price disparities exist for Medigap premiums and what happens when seniors have easy access to pricing information from all providers of Medigap insurance.
Big Data and Health Care Insurance
Natalie Basich, MBA’13, majoring in finance and business analytics
Data is a big buzzword in the health care field. Health care insurers contend with privacy issues, an ever-changing regulatory landscape, and mounds of data that need to be analyzed so they can make informed and quick decisions. In her internship, MBA student Natalie Basich helped one health care insurer update its financial model to include more accurate and more current data to review past performance and predict sales.
Identifying Unmet Demand
Sandeep R. Chandukala, Assistant Professor of Marketing
What do consumers want? The question can’t only be answered by observing purchasing behavior— the most pertinent information for marketers and product developers is not which needs are already being met by the marketplace, but which needs are unmet. This study proposes a model for identifying unmet demand that separates out different consumer segments, enabling decision makers to address the preferences of consumers with an interest in the product category while minimizing the influence of those who would be unlikely to make a purchase.
Forecasting for Hot Prospects
Jorge Alvarez, JD/MBA’13, majoring in business analytics and marketing
MBA student Jorge Alvarez helped a specialty printing supplies company improve its nationwide sales force by developing a forecasting model that allowed its sales reps to call on the “right” customers and employ the “right” marketing actions. By ranking and segmenting customers by their potential value to the company, the model allowed their territory-based sales team to share best practices and increase marketing efficiency.
One Hybrid Doesn’t Fit All
Shanshan Hu, Assistant Professor of Operations and Decision Technologies, and Gil Souza, Associate Professor of Operations and Decision Technologies
Lower operational costs versus higher initial price tags—deciding to invest in sustainable technologies for your businesses doesn’t have to be a gamble. A new computation model weighs factors of cost and uncertainty—fuel costs, seasonal demand, and maintenance costs—to give businesses an optimal solution to energy efficiency. Taking Coca-Cola Enterprises’ recent investment in hybrid-electric trucks as an example, the researchers show how the best investment in sustainable technology may be a hybrid itself.
Getting Your Data Warehouse in Order
Mayuri Pardeshi, MS in Information Systems ’12
The ability to make good decisions depends on a strong lineage—data lineage, that is. During her internship at a major consulting company, Master of Science in Information Systems graduate Mayuri Pardeshi helped a health care firm clean up its data warehouse from its disparate origins in various IT systems and through all its transformations on its way to analytics reports. As a result, decision makers gained a renewed confidence in the data’s ability to guide strategic decisions.