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CSUB’s first-team participated in 2021 Virtual Business Analytics Competition

School of Business and Public Administration students put their skills to the test with virtual competition


By Shelby Parker


Marketing students from the School of Business and Public Administration (BPA) at California State University, Bakersfield participated in the 2021 international Virtual Business Analytics Competition hosted by Manhattan College. CSUB students, Jose Rodriguez Ramos, Kylee Cross, and Deysi Beltran represented CSUB this year.


The event took place from April 22 through May 1, featuring a lineup of inspiring, distinguished keynote speakers, in addition to the student competition. The competition consisted of more than 30 university student teams, which gave students an opportunity to hone their business analytic and critical thinking skills.


This competition opportunity to represent CSUB BPA was offered to students who took the Marketing Research class run by Dr. Zhenning “Jimmy” Xu.


“It has been a great honor to work with these talented students. The process has been highly rewarding since our students were able to apply what they have learned to some of the most important real-world issues. I am proud of their achievement since they were able to learn how to use R (R studio), one of the most popular programming languages for marketing analytics, for performing complex analysis and communicating the results. They already mentioned that they will be applying the knowledge and the skills in future work,” said Dr. Zhenning Xu.


To prepare for the competition, the students and Dr. Xu conducted research in order to better understand the data. They also worked together to navigate the barriers of homeownership in New York City.


Student, Jose Rodriguez Ramos, a business administration major, explained that he decided to participate in the competition to add one more item to his resume before graduating this spring.


“The competition was a great experience to be a part of because it made group work and time management essential to completing the work and exposing us to R studio. We also met with the judging panel for a Q&A session during the event, and I believe we did well,” said Jose Rodriguez Ramos.


“After completing the competition, I hope to use the experience from using R studio to perform analysis and apply the knowledge in future work. My primary focus would be to build a company that focuses on media and animation. Using the same procedures and process we did in the competition will be virtual in my future business plans,” added Ramos.


Prior to the poster competition, the team and Dr. Xu met every Friday night, working through data and organizing numbers. Dr. Xu also provided his assistance and gave feedback on the practice runs for the presentation.


“The preparation and work for this competition has solidified analytic techniques in my mind and helped develop practical applications for my career. The wheels are already turning in my head about how I can better help my businesses through data analysis,” said Kylee Cross, a senior graduating this fall, with a concentration in marketing and management. “This has also helped me develop a deeper understanding of one of the top programming languages for business analytics, R and its capabilities. Also, I have enjoyed working with the team on this competition and have learned about so much more than the purpose of the competition. I feel as though we have really developed a great team.”


Deysi Beltran, a marketing and finance major, added that throughout the competition, she was able to develop a stronger understanding of analytics and how to properly interpret data.


“Through trial and error, this was achieved but the learning experience is what made it the most exciting for me,” said Deysi Beltran.


“This in turn has helped me enrich myself in one of the most popular programming languages, R (R Studio), and learn how to work with others. This could not have been completed without the proper guidance and assistance of both my group mates, as well as Dr. Xu who has helped us tremendously throughout this competition and has given us a new skill that can help us further ourselves into our careers. Overall, I had a damn good time and have made some amazing connections and friendships, which I believe has made this competition whether it be a win or lose, worth the while,” added Beltran.


The students presented in a virtual space and answered questions from the judges during the interactive sessions.


“Using Excel and the R programming language, they made strong recommendations for solving the New York city house ownership problem based on robust statistical analysis and visualizations,” said Dr. Xu.

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