Latest News

MSBAPM Students ‘Awash’ in Knowledge After Completing Capstone Project For Henkel

Creating a great laundry detergent is just the first step in conquering the household cleaning market.

That’s one of the concepts that UConn MSBAPM students learned during their capstone-class project last month. Their task? Providing data, customer insight, and e-commerce support to Henkel, which markets a wide range of well-known consumer and industrial brands in North America, including Persil®, Purex®, and all® laundry detergents and Snuggle® fabric softeners.

One capstone project involved creating competitive analysis and effective strategies for omnichannel branding, reviewing data to gain insights and recommend innovative areas to exploit sales. Another project addressed aggregation of data from e-commerce market places to help make business decisions and process efficiency.

“Partnering with UConn to advance the data analytics and tools for our eCommerce team was a great way to tap into local talents, fresh perspectives, and hopefully provide a great learning experience for the students,” said Laura Hyland, vice president of eCommerce for the company’s Laundry and Home Care division. “We are richer for it and look forward to adopting some of the work that the students completed.”

Alumna Yiyao Zhang, ’15 MSBAPM was also enthusiastic about the student contributions.

More Information

Business Professor Wins $2.5 Million Fantasy Football Jackpot Using the Concepts He Teaches Students

For David Bergman, applying his knowledge and skills to the “cool math problem” of fantasy football has paid off – literally.
UConn School of Business professor David Bergman won $2.5 million this week in a fantasy football competition by using some of the data analytics knowledge and techniques he teaches students.

“I’m just shocked by the whole thing, but it’s very exciting,’’ says Bergman, who has been a faculty member in the operations and information management (OPIM) department for seven years. “I’ve played fantasy sports since I was in college and it’s such a fun hobby.’’

Bergman won a DraftKings Daily Fantasy Sports World Championship last weekend, selecting an entry that edged out 199 others chosen by top-ranked challengers. Participants select a collection of nine NFL players and try to outscore the other opponents’ picks. Bergman says part of his success was in selecting three players outside the typical tournament favorites, allowing him to distinguish his entry and rise through the ranks.
More Information

UConn Students Repeat Winning Tradition During National Analytics Challenge

For the second consecutive year, a team of UConn graduate students earned the first-place award in a national analytics competition. Their award-winning presentation addressed how a telecom company can analyze and utilize data to help retain existing customers.

The winning team included MSBAPM students Kamal Kannan Krishnan, Ayush Kumar and Namita Singh and MBA student Jimmy Joseph. They worked with OPIM Professor Jennifer Eigo over the summer to transform a class project into a poster submission for the JMP Discovery Summit, which was held virtually in mid-October.

Last year, two UConn teams tied for first place in the Summit, so this year’s win marks the second consecutive top prize for UConn.More Information

UConn-Backed MedTech Accelerator Advances 10 Powerful Startups

The excitement was palpable Monday night as 10 health care startups, including two that are UConn-grown, shared their medical technology innovations that promise unique solutions for some of medicine’s most vexing problems.
“Startups always talk about changing the world, but these companies will absolutely change lives,” said entrepreneurship expert Alex Farcet, who was among hundreds of people who packed The Bushnell theater.

The audience—composed of health care, business and economic development executives—cheered loudly for the startups, who had just completed a 12-week business accelerator program, sponsored by Hartford HealthCare, the UConn School of Business, Launch Hartford and Trinity College.

Many of the speakers at the event spoke passionately about how Hartford’s commitment to incubate innovative medical technology could bring lasting economic growth to the region.

More Information

Fred Dimyan, CEO of Potoo, Interviews with Ann Nyberg

Fred Dimyan, CEO of Potoo – the company that manages multiple online market places, including Amazon – sits down and talks to Ann about how his company works and what it does for consumers day-to-day. It was founded in 2014 to monitor online marketplaces like Amazon and other buying and selling platforms to make sure that the consumer, you, is getting what you’re paying for – and protecting the integrity of brands. To find out more about the company, go to

Predictive Modeling Class Projects Become Twin Wins for UConn

UConn JMP Discovery Summit Participants
The UConn delegates pose at a reception during the JMP Discovery Summit in Tuscon, AZ. The two UConn teams represented here tied for first place in the contest. (Contributed Photo)

If a pet-adoption agency wants to quickly find a home for a puppy, is it better to post a picture of the pup with its littermates—or a series of photos of the dog alone?And if soccer club owners are trying to identify which FIFA players are underpaid based on their talent, could they accurately do so by analyzing public data about each player’s skill ratings?

Two teams of UConn graduate students used their predictive modeling expertise to successfully answer those questions, and their conclusions led them to tie for first-place in a national, statistical-software competition. Their awards were presented at the JMP Discovery Summit in Tucson, Ariz., last month.

Class Project Turned Into Networking Dream

The predictive analytics project began as an assignment in OPIM Professor Jennifer Eigo‘s classes in Hartford and Stamford last spring. When she learned about the JMP Discovery Summit, she urged students to consider refining their projects over the summer and submitting them to the competition.

The opportunity to attend the conference, which drew some 1,000 people, including top analysts from Exxon, Proctor & Gamble, Apple, Nike, Boeing, GM, Samsung and Abbott Laboratories, was a tremendous networking opportunity for the students, Eigo said. She was impressed to see her students, from the MBA and MSBAPM programs, deeply engaged in discussions with some of the brightest minds in the field.

Pets Are More Adoptable with Individual Photos

Teammates Sherisa Yocher, Saraswathi Sathees, and Rebecca Gill, all MSBAPM students at the Hartford campus, studied pet-adoption rates in Malaysia, where is the No. 1 animal-welfare platform with a database of more than 150,000 animals. The team analyzed more than 14,500 pet profiles to determine which characteristics led to quick adoptions, defined as 30 days or less.

They examined 14 variables, including breed name, primary color, gender, health, age and more.

Based on their findings, that to expedite adoption, pets should be photographed individually, not in a litter, which seems to confuse potential owners. Ideally, a post should have five to 10 good-quality photos, they found. They also discovered that organizations need to nurse sick pets back to health before putting them up for adoption.

“It was a big undertaking,” said Yocher, who credits well-executed research and an easy-to-follow poster presentation for the team’s success. She also gave credit to Eigo for preparing students to carefully analyze data and select the best model to get results. The team has since shared its results with local shelters, in hopes they can arrange for faster adoptions.

‘The Process Was Fascinating’

The other winning team developed a skills metrics for soccer players in the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) which is composed of 211 soccer clubs and teams.

Students Vineela Datla, Johana Rodriguez, Anan Garg, and Thore Koch developed a skills metrics for the players, and, based on their attributes created a model to predict their salary range. The students analyzed 88 variables, with special emphasis on position and skill ratings. They also identified a player who they believed was under-valued, Paco Alcacer. He has since received a salary increase.

“It was an amazing experience working on this project with Professor Eigo. The process was really fascinating,” Datla said. “When we started this project, none of us knew anything about FIFA. We researched and learned more about FIFA first before we started working on the project, which really helped us understand the business better.”

The FIFA analytics team is composed of Stamford students, with Datla in MSBAPM and the rest enrolled in the MBA program.

‘The Cherry On Top’

While both UConn teams knew they’d tied for first place, it was several hours before they discovered they would be sharing the honor with each other.

For Datla and Yocher, who were already planning to share a room at the conference, the news was the best of surprises. Both of their teams enjoyed celebrating together.

“To have two of our teams win the top recognition was just the cherry on top,” Eigo said. “It was fantastic. Our students were so proud—and I was proud of them.”