The Applied Consulting Practicum is part of the specialized master’s degree in business analytics. The practicum provides you with invaluable, real-life project experience. You will work as part of a student team, partnering with client sponsors under faculty supervision to scope, analyze, and report findings related to a client sponsor’s business question. Past sponsors include several Fortune 100 companies in the technology, retail, manufacturing, and utility sectors.

The consulting practicum, scheduled in your second semester, is a required component of the program. The practicum counts as a course includes in-class lectures and workshops on business problem definition, project and analysis planning, communication, leadership, and teamwork. Each team answers a sponsor’s business question using statistical models, data visualization tools, or “what if” scenario planning.

The practicum is part of the Wisconsin School of Business’s robust commitment to applied learning to narrow the gap between career and classroom. You’ll gain a competitive edge in your job search.

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Learn more

To explore the business analytics program or partnership opportunities, please contact Mary Kathryn Malone, faculty associate and experiential learning lead, Wisconsin School of Business Master’s and MBA Programs.

Project Types

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Descriptive

Mining data to understand and learn from information on hand.

  • Statistical data profiles
  • Customer segmentation
  • Data visualization
  • Geo-mapping

Example question: What accounts or account groups are most profitable?

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Predictive

Using data to identify drivers and predict outcomes.

  • Retention or renewal indicators
  • Sales and profitability drivers
  • Default predictors
  • Repeat-purchase signals

Example question: Which accounts are likely to default?

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Prescriptive

Using data to model different “what if” scenarios.

  • Scoring interventions to improve outcome
  • Optimizing protocols
  • Reducing lead times

Example question: Which intervention is best for mitigating default?

Zihong Li

"I had a fantastic experience during my practicum project. It helped me get hands-on experience with the knowledge and skills I learned in the classroom. With this project, we had a better understanding of how data and analytics can drive business decisions. Overall, the project was very fast paced and heavily client-facing. Therefore, the experience helped me to become better at communication, teamwork, and learning. I talk a lot about my practicum during my interviews, and this experience seems to be the one that the recruiters are mostly interested in."

—Zihong Lin, MS in Business Analytics ‘20