The Adobe Analytics Student Challenge is the only global competition where college students can win prize money, while also walking away with in-demand skills for the workplace today. It has launched careers in fields from data science and product management, to consulting and marketing. Teams from universities and colleges around the world are given several weeks to analyze real data provided by a brand partner and tasked to help the organization solve a pressing business challenge. Using Adobe Analytics, the same customer analytics tool used by Fortune 500 companies, students learn to produce actionable insights that can drive their recommendations.
This year, Adobe has partnered with The Walt Disney Company for the Adobe Analytics Challenge 2021, and students will be asked to dig into their e-commerce strategy. As an organization, Disney is a leading international family entertainment and media enterprise with an expansive portfolio that covers everything from theme parks and film studios, to a consumer streaming service, consumer products and much more. Over the years, its digital audience has grown substantially, as customers go online to research, get inspired and transact. The central theme of the Challenge this year will be around nurturing loyalty online, with insights that can better profile customer intent.
Teams will have to present ideas that ultimately help Disney deliver a magical experience online. Students will deliver recommendations on how to drive repeat and multiple purchases online, for instance, while identifying the behavioral signals that lead to return visits. They will also be asked to conduct a deep analysis of the online shopping cart, looking at ways to increase the average order value of purchases. Cart abandonment will be considered this year as well, with students exploring ways to recover e-commerce baskets that shoppers walk away from. Lastly, teams will be asked to analyze the customer journey across mobile and desktop channels, uncovering new ways for Disney to approach these properties.
“As a global brand that leverages technology of all kinds in support of storytelling, Disney is excited to assist with efforts to help advance educational opportunities for college students around the world interested in this career path,” said Michael DeCook, vice president, Digital & Travel Operations Analytics. “The Adobe Analytics Challenge will provide real-world experience in digital data analytics and help pave the way for a great future in this dynamic field.”
Adobe unveiled the finalist teams today. After a record-setting year with over 8,300 student applicants, representing over 700 institutions across 22 countries, six teams have made the final round. They come from schools including Willamette University, Yale School of Management, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, University of California (Davis), Brigham Young University and Université d’Angers. The winning team will follow last year’s top team, the Indian Institute of Technology (Indian School of Mines) Dhanbad, who worked with Nike as the brand partner.
The finalists are the latest cohort to join an alumni network that has leveraged the experience to join organizations like The Home Depot and the Boston Consulting Group. After 16 years of the competition, the successful track record also drove interest from higher education instructors, who wanted to replicate the Challenge experience in their classrooms. In response, Adobe unveiled the Adobe Analytics curriculum for higher education earlier this year. The global program provides free access to Adobe Analytics year round, along with course curriculum and hands-on activities. Students can work with real data in the classroom and conduct analysis that drives business decisions. Hundreds of institutions have registered since launch.
“Students are entering a job market today that has fundamentally changed in the last 18 months, as the pandemic brought even more of our daily lives online,” said Anil Chakravarthy, executive vice president and GM, Adobe Experience Cloud. “You will not find a single organization now where technology is not the centerpiece of its overall strategy, and it makes digital literacy crucial for the next generation to compete successfully in the digital economy.”
To watch the finals (presented virtually this year), tune in on November 9 at AdobeAnalyticsChallenge.com. The competition starts at 9:00 a.m. PT / 12:00 p.m. ET and will be available on demand afterwards. See the finalists duke it out for the top prize in front of a judging panel of Disney representatives and industry experts.