Putting It All Together: Your Analytics Capstone Project
Given the emphasis our Online MSBA program places on developing a well-rounded, multifaceted skill set, it is no surprise that the program concludes with a culminating collaborative analytics project. In the Business Analytics Capstone Project course, students are asked to apply everything they have learned in the program toward solving a challenging real-life business problem.
Each graduating cohort in the Online MSBA program will have a distinct capstone project experience featuring unique data sets provided by W&M’s impressive roster of corporate partners. This is no ordinary business school assignment: It’s your opportunity to deploy your new analytics, data visualization and communication skills on real data, with a real-world impact on a major organization’s strategic decisions and demonstrate excellence across each of the Online MSBA program’s four pillars.
Show Off Your Skills
In completing the capstone course, you’ll have the opportunity to:
- Gain experience you won’t find in a textbook or problem set by engaging with real-world data from an actual organization
- Use your new technical skills in SQL, R and Python programming, Tableau, and other tools and programs to analyze complex data
- Approach an open-ended raw data set and make your own decisions about how to clean it and parse it into intelligible slices
- Develop a comprehensive presentation to relay your findings and recommendations to an audience of business leaders
- Work closely with faculty advisors to help you stay on track and ensure your successful completion of your project
- Demonstrate your ability to collaborate by delegating and completing the tasks that make up a complex analytics project
Capstone Snapshot: Data Feast
The capstone experience for the Online MSBA cohort graduating in spring 2020 was the Data Feast competition, which pitted two teams of Online MSBA students against two teams of students from the on-campus MSBA program to analyze a data set and offer strategic insights to guide the expansion efforts of an up-and-coming sports and entertainment company. Two winners were declared in each of the areas of technical skills and business acumen, and the winners of the technical challenge was one of the two Online MSBA teams!
Read more about how this experience helped 2020 MSBA graduates Jamar Jenkins and Cheryl Ngo synthesize their new skills and solidify their confidence.
The capstone helped me realize that there is a lot of work to be done for analytics problems aside from just the exciting new coding you've learned. There's cleaning to be done, there are questions to be asked, there's a background to be understood and there are end goals by the business involved. There are a lot of different layers to things beyond just ‘Here's an answer to a simple question.’