What Is the Iowa MBA business analytics case competition?

This competition is a chance for some of the brightest graduate analytics students in the country to come together and solve a real-world business problem. Teams will be asked to perform a deep-dive analysis and consider multiple data points before making their recommendations to a panel of industry experts.


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1st Place: $5,000
2nd Place: $3,500
3rd Place: $1,500


1. Limited to 1 team per school.

2. Teams should be comprised of 4 students.

3. At least 2 students on each team must be currently enrolled in a full-time MBA program. The other members can come from other graduate programs.

4. The case will be distributed two weeks prior to the event.

5. Attire for the competition is business formal.

6. Once the case is distributed, teams cannot solicit assistance from anyone who is not on the team (including staff, faculty, other students, and the sponsoring company). All work presented must be solely that of the participating team members. Outside research is allowed (e.g. written, online).

7. The judges will act as a group of top managers and/or directors. The judges are familiar with the problems identified in the case. Therefore, the case facts do not need to be repeated. Define and analyze the problem and present a justified plan of action.

8. Presentations must be formatted using Microsoft PowerPoint and be PC-compatible. Teams are free to choose the software they utilize to analyze the data.

9. Teams must upload their presentations to the link provided in a subsequent email by competition officials. Presentations must be turned in at 8:00am (Central Time) on Thursday, April 20. You will not be permitted to make changes to your slides after this submission deadline.

10. Teams will be assigned a presentation time slot at random during the welcome reception on Thursday evening.

11. A study room will be provided to each team for their use on Friday.

12. The first slide of the presentation should list your assigned team number. Do not put your school name or logo on any material and do not identify your affiliation to the judges prior to or during the presentations.

13. Each member of the team is required to present, although the amount of time per speaker may vary. The total time allocated to each team’s presentation will be 15 minutes; judges will have no more than 5 minutes to ask questions. Judges may direct their questions to the overall team or to an individual member of a team.

14. A timekeeper in each room will inform the team and judges when five, two and one minute remain of the designated 15 minute presentation time and again during the question period. When time expires, the timekeeper will stop the presentation regardless of whether the team’s presentation is complete.

15. Sitting in on any other team’s presentation is grounds for disqualification. Accompanying advisors may sit in on the presentations in the room where their team is competing, but cannot assist or communicate with their team about the competition in any way. This includes feedback prior to a final round competition for advancing teams. Advisors of teams may sit in on the judges’ feedback session for their team only.

16. Final round presentations are open to all non-advancing teams and to the public.





The 2018 Iowa MBA Business Analytics Case Competition will be held April 12-13, 2018. Please check back later for registration information.


Two nights of lodging (Thursday and Friday) will be covered for team members at the Sheraton Iowa City Hotel, located in downtown Iowa City, steps away from campus.

Teams will be responsible for arranging their own transportation to and from the University of Iowa. The nearest airport is the Eastern Iowa Airport (CID) located in Cedar Rapids, IA, a 20 minute drive from campus. Various transportation options are available to get from the Eastern Iowa Airport to campus.



Thank you to our partners who supported the 2017 Iowa MBA Business Analytics Case Competition


University of Missouri

Texas Christian University

University of Alabama

Rice University

University of Iowa

Oklahoma State University

University of Notre Dame

Purdue University

University of Maryland

American University

University of Georgia

University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Vanderbilt University

California Polytechnic State University

University of North Carolina-Greensboro

University of Rochester


On April 20 and 21, the Tippie College of Business hosted its annual Business Analytics Case Competition with some of the brighest graduate business and analytics students in the country coming to Iowa City to solve a real-world. business problem.

The competition this year presented a case or business problem that was sponsored by 3M. "It is a great privilege and honor for our student teams to work on this complex real-world problem from such an internationally respected organization like 3M," said David Deyak, Assistant Dean of the Iowa MBA Program. John Deere, UnityPoint Health, Kum & Go, Pella and the Minnesota Vikings also provided sponsorship for the competition as well as their organizations analytical leaders to assess the teams.

"It is a great honor to host this competition with so many prestigious universities competing," said David Frasier, Associate Dean, Iowa MBA Programs.

As business schools continue to expand their offerings in business analytics this competition provides a great opportunity for schools from throughout the United States to meet, network, and demonstrate their acumen in this field during a competition.

"This is our second year hosting this competition. We are excited with the results of this event as it provided a unique opportunity for all participants - students, faculty, sponsors, judges and the larger analytics community - to benefit from the collective wisdom and experience shared throughout the competition," said Michael Geneser, Associate Director of Iowa's MBA Program.

The fifteen competing teams, made up of four team members each, had to go through two rounds of presentations. Students were asked to analyze data from a 3M business group that is attributed to one of thirty different divisions. The desired outcome was to create a tool that would better inform leadership and drive decision-making.

Next year, the competition is scheduled for April 12-13, 2018.

The winners of the 2017 Competition are as follows:

1st place: Vanderbilt University, Owen School of Management

2nd place: University of Alabama, Manderson Graduate School of Business

3rd place: Purdue University, Krannert School of Management

4th place: The University of Iowa, Tippie College of Business

Best Presenter: Liz Alley, University of Alabama, Manderson Graduate School of Business.