Fairfield Dolan Succeeds at Business Analytics Competition

Fairfield Dolan Succeeds at Business Analytics Competition

Fairfield Dolan's Second-Place Team at Manhattan Business Competition (l-r): Associate Professor Vishnu Vinekar, Joshua Orndorff '24, Spencer Chidley '24, Christian O’Rourke '24.

Fairfield Dolan's Second-Place Team at Manhattan Business Competition (l-r): Associate Professor Vishnu Vinekar, Joshua Orndorff '24, Spencer Chidley '24, Christian O’Rourke '24.

A team of undergraduate students mentored by associate professor of business analytics Vishnu Vinekar won second place and $2,500 at Manhattan College's Business Analytics Competition.

Applying our analytical skills to a real-world project similar to those in professional settings provided invaluable practical experience.

— Christian O’Rourke '24

Two teams of Fairfield Dolan business analytics students participated in the Business Analytics Competition at Manhattan College (BAC@MC), which was open to all undergraduate colleges in the U.S. The undergraduate team of Joshua Orndorff '24, Christian O’Rourke '24, and Spencer Chidley '24 secured second place at the competition, which took place from May 20 to May 22.

A second student team consisting of Fairfield Dolan students Laura Melin '24, Liz Uyar '24, Justin Harper '24, and Duncan Hathaway '24 also participated in the competition.

"Participating in the Manhattan College Business Analytics Competition was a rewarding experience. Applying our analytical skills to a real-world project similar to those in professional settings provided invaluable practical experience,” said Christian O’Rourke

Twenty-one teams from around the country spent a semester preparing posters to present in phase one of the competition; each team's presentation was evaluated by seven faculty members from different colleges.

In phase two of the competition, BAC@MC challenged the student teams with a new research question: to compare the financial performance of nursing homes in New York versus Florida. The teams were required to recommend which state presented a better investment opportunity and identify factors influencing performance in both states. They had less than 12 hours to complete their analysis, finalize their presentation, and submit their slides.

The Dolan students maximized their data analysis skillset using MySQL for their master dataset, available on GitHub, and leveraging XGBoost and SciKit-Learn in Python to model data from case studies on nursing homes. This was done through research on private equity debt and related-party transactions in nursing home holding companies.

Both Fairfield Dolan teams advanced to the final round, two of six remaining teams to make final presentations to a panel of nine industry judges.

“Competing against top schools, receiving feedback, and presenting our findings to industry experts deepened our understanding of analytics methodologies and presentation techniques, setting a solid foundation for our future professional endeavors,” said O’Rourke.

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