Spring 2021 Marketing Analytics Data Challenge


The Department of Marketing invites undergraduate analytics and marketing students in the Mizzou College of Business to participate in the college’s first marketing data challenge. In this competition, students will work in teams and apply their analytical skills to identify differences between high school seniors who and are not interested in joining the military, and use this information to suggest promotional approaches and themes that would encourage interested high school seniors to follow through and make plans for military enlistment. The competition will run March 2 to April 6.

How does it work?

Teams of 2-4 students currently enrolled in the BSBA program in Trulaske College of Business may participate.

The teams’ task is to analyze the data to identify characteristics of high school seniors most interested in joining the military and, using that information, suggest approaches and themes the U.S. Department of Defense could use to appeal to those students.

Students will submit their results in a recorded presentation containing no more than 10 PowerPoint slides and a technical document of no more than 500 words.

A panel of Trulaske analytics faculty will select finalists based on materials submitted by the teams. The competition winner will be selected from among the finalists by a panel of analytics industry professionals.

Competition Teams

Teams may contain 2, 3, or 4 members; all members must be currently enrolled in the BSBA program in Trulaske College of Business.

So that teams will possess the skills necessary to successfully compete, it’s recommended that

  • at least one team member be enrolled in Mrktng 4900 and
  • at least one member have data visualization skills (e.g., Tableau or Excel graphing skills)

Need help forming a team? If you’d like to participate in a team but haven’t settled on your team’s composition, complete the Information Request Form and you’ll be given access to a discussion board where you can meet up with other potential participants.

Faculty Support

The analytics faculty in the Marketing Department will provide teams with several forms of support to help you develop an award-winning project.

  • To help teams get started, there will be an orientation session on Zoom.
  • There will be virtual office hours at several points during the competition period where teams can ask questions or get help dealing with analysis issues.
  • Analytics faculty are available to answer questions by email on a limited basis during the competition period.
  • There will be a competition “open house” near the end of the competition period where teams can informally present walk-throughs of their presentation slides for feedback from analytics faculty.

How To Get Started

If you’d like to learn more about the competition, complete the Information Request Form. After submission of this form, you’ll be given access to a Canvas site that has more information about the competition and an application form to compete once you’ve formed your group.

Submission Details

Teams are required to submit a recorded presentation lasting no more than 20 minutes using up to 12 PowerPoint slides. The goal of the presentation is to identify the characteristics of high school seniors who are most likely to be interested in joining the military after high school graduation and, based on the results you find, suggest the kinds of promotional messages most likely to be effective in connecting with these students. The task is not to develop a promotional campaign, but rather to provide information that would be useful to a working group with responsibility for developing a promotional campaign.

Teams are also required to submit a technical report, not to exceed two double-spaced pages, describing the technical details of their work and citing any external sources used in their analysis or presentation.

Submissions must be submitted on the competition’s Canvas site no later than 11:59 p.m. CDT on April 6, 2021.


Each winning team member will receive an engraved plaque, and each finalist team member will receive a framed certificate. Results will be publicized within the College of Business and on LinkedIn.

Key Dates

  • March 2, 11:59 pm, CST: Application deadline. Teams will receive access to the dataset and additional documentation shortly after the deadline.
  • March 5 at 2:00 pm Zoom orientation meeting
  • week of March 22, TBA: Open house: teams can present drafts of their presentations for feedback from analytics faculty
  • April 6 at 11:59 pm CDT:  Submission deadline