SAP Partners with Haub School for Student Competition

Friday, May 30, 2014

PHILADELPHIA (May 29, 2014) — Business applications and software company SAP and the Promotion Optimization Institute (POI) co-sponsored a competition during the spring semester in which student teams developed and presented a comprehensive marketing plan for a product using real-world data and SAP’s proprietary software. The competition — dubbed the Analytics Cup — encouraged the students to apply their skills in predictive analytics and data mining. While the educational value of the experience was paramount, SJU, SAP and POI also offered a trophy for the team with the strongest presentation.

“The response was incredible,” says Ron Klimberg, Ph.D., professor of business intelligence & analytics and the coordinator of the Analytics Cup. “This was a wonderful opportunity for our students. It brought together everything they have learned as BIA students.”

To launch the competition, students met with and toured the facilities of SAP, headquartered in Newtown Square, Pa. It was here that they learned more information about the proprietary software they would soon get their hands on — SAP’s Trade Promotion Optimization (TPO). 

The science behind trade promotion, explains Klimberg, is to improve the forecasting of sales behind a consumer product. This takes into consideration elements such as a product’s placement in the store or pricing.

Senior BIA major Andrew Bohri says he and his classmates were excited to have the opportunity to put classroom knowledge into practice. “By partnering with SAP, we were able to improve our analysis and forecasting,” says Bohri.

Once they returned to campus, students were given a set of products (from a real-world data set) to which they applied SAP’s TPO package, as well as the other advanced analytics and visualization techniques and tools they learned in the class. Their marching orders from Klimberg and SAP were to develop an understanding of their product’s past performance and build a plan for the next several periods.

“The area of TPO is growing exponentially and the need for employees who know the TPO process and technology is in high demand,” says Timo Wagenblatt, SAP’s director of innovative solutions. “Now that the students have masterd this [TPO], they can solve any problem using any technology, tool or techniques.” 

The winning team included seniors Caitlin Abbate, Deanna Hehl and Megan O'Reilly.

Media Contact

Carolyn Steigleman, Marketing Communications | Haub School of Business, 610-660-1355,

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