Skip to Content

Darla Moore School of Business

  • Image of Kapil Joshi, Joonhyuk Seo and Yehor Shtanko

    From left: Kapil Joshi, Joonhyuk Seo and Yehor Shtanko

Besting worldwide competitors

Three dedicated Moore School students advanced to the semi-finals for prestigious international business analytics challenge

Three Moore School students recently made it to the semi-finals of the Adobe Analytics Challenge, competing against more than 4,000 teams from all over the globe.

For the Adobe Analytics Challenge, Kapil Joshi (’23 expected graduation, finance and international business), Yehor Shtanko (’23 expected graduation, economics and international business) and Joonhyuk Seo (’22 MSBA) examined Hilton Hotel’s reservation data. The teams were given two weeks last fall to analyze the extensive data set and create customer-friendly visualizations and recommendations to make Hilton Hotel’s reservation data more efficient using Adobe’s Customer Journey Analytics program.

The students’ faculty advisor, Moore School professor Sung-Hee “Sunny” Park, explained how unique the competition was.

“It would normally not be easy to find these types of opportunities where students can apply their analytical skills to solve real-world problems, state their hypotheses and recommendations for solving the problems and show the data that helps support the problems, hypotheses and recommendations,” Park said. 

When they made it to the semi-finals, the students were also asked to present their findings in 10 minutes or less. Despite their diverse cultural and educational backgrounds, Joshi, Shtanko and Seo were able to use what they had learned from the Moore School as well as apply their different strengths to successfully work toward the same goal.

Shtanko is no stranger to competitions; he said he has placed in the top 10 worldwide in several similar competitions. Joshi himself had only just returned from a competition in Australia when Shtanko asked if he wanted to join his team for the Adobe Analytics Challenge.

“…I said yes immediately,” Joshi said. “I wanted to compete and develop my consulting skills, and this one gave me the opportunity to develop my data analytics skills which would complement my Business Analytics Undergraduate Concentration.”

Seo was introduced to Shtanko by Necati Tereyagoglu, a Moore School management science associate professor.

“While I was working for the Center for Applied Business Analytics, we were putting together a Hackathon for Moore School students,” Seo said. “Since I could not enter the competition [as part of the organization team], I asked [Tereyagoglu] about any opportunities for a competition I was eligible for. That’s when he introduced me to [Shtanko]. Before my graduation, I wanted to put my skills to the test by entering the challenge and seeing what I could offer to the team.”

Professor Park praised their efforts, saying, “There were more than 4,000 teams from all around the world.  What they have achieved is just amazing.  I also see how they developed teamwork and friendship through the competition, which, I believe, is one of the most important achievements they were rewarded from their participation in the Adobe Analytics Challenge.”

All three teammates said that they would happily take part in a similar competition again, though preferably with some minor tweaks. They admitted that having to skip meals, occasional classes and losing some sleep to work on their project for the competition took its toll.

Joshi also said that if he could go back, he would work a little more on the marketability of their solution.

“Our story and solution were strong, and the data helped us build that story,” he said. “We needed a little bit more to send us through to the finals!”

Still, the teammates said they are grateful to have had the opportunity and are proud of their hard work.

“This competition was extremely rewarding both in learning experiences and in results that it produced,” said Shtanko. “We all gained experiences in areas where we struggle, be it communication, data visualization, or for me, time management. We also gained very substantial results. We outpaced 4000+ teams from across the world and made it into the exceptional 0.5 percent of teams all while competing against primarily master-level students and some of the best schools around the globe…With the information we had at that moment and with the limited time that we had, we did our absolute best.”

-Sydney Hankinson

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.