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Left to right: John Elder, Yajur Kapoor and Alex Bourdeau, all '15

Left to right: John Elder, Yajur Kapoor and Alex Bourdeau, all '15

Kellogg takes Adobe Digital Analytics Competition — again

A plan to up the user experience for Lenovo Mexico’s website gave one team a first-place finish

By Paul Dailing

11/25/2014 - A Kellogg team has once again come out on top at the Adobe Digital Analytics Competition.

One-Year students Alex Bourdeau, Yajur Kapoor and John Elder, all ’15, bested 66 teams to take first place in the case competition. The event challenges students from universities across the nation to use Adobe’s data analytics software to tackle the challenges real-world companies face online.

This win comes a year after Kellogg teams took first, third and fourth place in the 2013 event.

Bourdeau, who pulled together the team based on the strengths each member brought to the table, had his eyes on this prize even before he entered Kellogg. He first heard of it when he was a prospective student, discussing Kellogg’s analytics offerings with people currently in the program.

Bourdeau is pursuing a managerial analytics major and saw the competition as another way to up his big data game at Kellogg.

“For my particular situation, it was really the fact I wanted to build my analytics skill set. That’s why I came here,” Bourdeau said.

Kellogg is known for having the leading data analytics curriculum with 11 electives, include three introduced this year. The curriculum is designed to give students a comprehensive understanding of the power of data science and its managerial applications.

A team of 1Ys

The team is rare among case competition teams in that it is entirely made of students in Kellogg’s One-Year Program. Bourdeau is also president of the One-Year Program Students Association.

“We really wanted to come out and represent the 1Y class,” Kapoor said.

This year’s challenge to students was to use Adobe’s data analytics software to improve the performance of Lenovo’s website in Mexico.

“Our analytics were centered around benchmarking and industry trends,” Elder said.

With only a smattering of Spanish among the team members and Google Translate at the ready, the trio looked to benchmark the sites performance against comparable websites in Mexico and beyond.

“Once we actually established those benchmarks, we could figure out which metrics Lenovo Mexico could perform better on,” Kapoor said.

They decided to focus on the user experience, separating themselves by not only identifying areas of opportunity, but also by presenting concrete plans to get there, Elder said.

“There was a lot of room given for creativity,” Elder said.

‘A very proud moment’

Six teams made it to the final round in Utah in November. Adobe reads the fourth-place winner first, then the third-place winner, then second, leading to a moment where the team members didn’t know if they were first or didn’t make the cut at all.

They were first, winning $15,000.

“I never got to hold a big check before,” Elder joked. “I really wanted to hold a big check.”

“I think there’s also a really exciting element to case competitions that I certainly appreciated, and that’s the opportunity to represent the Kellogg School,” Bourdeau said. “That was a very proud moment.”