Impact-related IT Consulting Analytics Project Ideas:

Summer provides a great opportunity for Master’s students to apply a years-worth of strategy and analytics knowledge into a shareable work product that can become part of a targeted resume – in this case, consulting, as materials for a portfolio website and for outreach in networking through LinkedIn. Talk to a career coach to discuss your own career ambitions and build a unique challenge that you can analyze over the summer that is representative of your career ambition.

What Would You Recommend? How Would You Approach Analytics to Support Your Recommendation?

  1. Brand Management
    What are the Primary Considerations on How to Build and Protect a Full Service Brand from Casual and Take-out On-demand competition?
    The biggest factors impacting the segment, such as
    1. changes to the tipping model and service fees, 
    2. the price/value equation versus limited-service, 
    3. off-premises growth, and 
    4. technology priorities
  2. Product Management/ Product Launch
    New product launch idea for Starbuck’s
    Dunkin has been a coffee and doughnut retail leader in the Northeast US for decades. Starbucks, starting on the west coast, has rapidly expanded its’ footprint and now faces a head-to-head challenge with Dunkin.
    1. The Dunkin brand had always been tied to doughnuts – a great pairing!
    2. The Starbuck’s brand has always been tied to location and coffee for coffee enthusiasts willing to pay a premium for a great cup.
    3. The challenge: In consumer surveys, Dunkin is a head-to-head competitor with Starbucks based on the taste of their signature coffees, a surprise to Starbucks. Now Starbucks wants to leverage their locations and national presence to challenge Dunkin with a selection of fresh doughnuts. As a technology consultant, you have been asked to support the consulting team with analysis of the market, identification of viable options, and a recommendation on how to proceed.
      1. Phase 1: How would you approach your assignment?
        1. What kind of data do you need, where will you find it, what do you expect the data to look like?
        2. What kinds of descriptive analytics will create an accurate picture of the market between Starbucks and Dunkin based on Coffee and doughnuts.
        3. How will you find data to measure the impact of a new product on an existing brand identity and what lessons can be drawn from the data you find – which is likely not going to be directly related to this decision.
        4. How will you break up data analysis into logical stages, such as concept evaluation, customer segment analysis, marketing channel and reach analysis, customer preferences and personalization needs.
        5. What existing Starbucks technology will be impacted by a new product offering and how would a test market rollout work within existing systems (Mobile app, POS systems, inventory systems, supplier management systems, food safety systems)?
        6. What types of analytics can you imagine running (predictive models, seasonal trend analysis, sales, p/l reporting, food waste tracking)?
        7. Develop a presentation with clear requests for stakeholders to sign off on in terms of your approach and recommended next steps in Phase 2.
      2. Phase 2 –
        1. What is the most essential preliminary hypothesis test you can run in order to make the case to proceed or stop the project for more concept clarity?
        2. Your recommendations:
By John Malone
John Malone Assistant Director, Masters Career Coach