Getting Analytical in Madrid

Tuesday, February 11, 2020TOPICS: International

USD School of Business Master’s in Business Analytics Cohort in Madrid, SpainMaster’s in business analytics students work together at Carto in Madrid, Spain.
begin quoteThe international consulting project is particularly special in that students also get exposure to how business analytics is applied in other countries and can see how things may be approached differently.

During intersession, the entire master’s in business analytics cohort traveled to Madrid, Spain for a hands-on opportunity working on consulting projects at local companies -- all while taking some siesta breaks to explore the city. On this international experience organized by the Ahlers Center for International Business, students spent 10 days abroad applying data analytics at their assigned companies to address pressing business problems. 

“These types of projects, where students work directly with industry partners, help students build a portfolio of “real life” project experience that they can share with prospective employers. The international consulting project is particularly special in that students also get exposure to how business analytics is applied in other countries and can see how things may be approached differently,” shares Andrea Godfrey Flynn, associate professor of marketing and academic director of the Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) at the University of San Diego School of Business. 

One team partnered with CARTO, a GIS /spatial data analytics software company to conduct a market positioning analysis against key competitors. Their project required them to analyze publicly available data including blog posts, customer reviews, and social media as well as primary data collected via an online survey. Based on their analysis, the team was tasked with providing recommendations about how the company can best position itself in this rapidly growing market. 

A second team partnered with EatTasty, a food delivery service that offers a unique menu of prepared meals that can be ordered online and delivered to your office for lunch. The company is headquartered in Lisbon, Portugal and expanded to Madrid in the past year. Students were tasked with identifying the next city the company should expand its operations to based on data summarizing population, employment, and other industry-relevant data for over 50 different cities. 

“Our consulting project with EatTasty was a valuable experience. It made a big difference to be able to work in the company's office directly with its employees. We were able to see the company's operations happen right in front of our eyes. In our case, it was especially rewarding that the company was just as enthusiastic about the project as we were and gave us complete access to the data we needed,” said Shikhar Darbari, MSBA ‘20.

The third team partnered with Ontruck, a logistics company that aims to improve efficiency in the trucking industry. Here, students developed an algorithm to calculate a score rating of truck driver performance so that the company can enhance its customer experience. 

Although applying skills and helping businesses in an international context is the main objective of these consulting projects, students also enjoyed a few of the Spanish capital’s greatest cultural attractions. Sprinkled throughout intense workdays was a visit to Parque del Buen Retiro, cheering on Real Madrid at a soccer match, and a live flamenco show. They also took some time to shop around Puerta del Sol and Calle de Serrano and enjoyed dinners together tasting tapas and Spain’s signature paella.

At the end of the trip, students left with a greater applied understanding of data analytics, a real consulting experience to add to their resume and one of the most memorable experiences of their time as graduate students. 


Renata Ramirez
(619) 260-4658