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Real Data, Big Impact: UChicago Students Work to Improve Sales at Goose Island


Watch UChicago Master of Science in Analytics capstone projects unfold in Real Data, Big Impact and see how students collaborate with their clients to deliver successful analytics projects.



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Goose Island Beer Company has a straightforward goal: sell more beer in Chicago. The company hired more sales staff to achieve this goal, but which existing accounts, and which potential clients, should the expanded sales team target to realize the most sales growth for Goose Island?

A team of Master of Science in Analytics students from the University of Chicago partnered with Goose Island to develop a data-driven approach to increasing the company’s Chicago sales. Their analysis considered four parts: segmenting existing accounts, identifying retail locations with sales growth opportunities, quantifying these opportunities, and developing sales territories that reflected all of this analysis. Most importantly, the team had to package this end-to-end solution in a way that would provide Goose Island with meaningful results.

Goose Island Beer CompanyThe UChicago team started by collecting data from beer industry reports, sales and account data from Goose Island and its parent company, AB InBev, and geo-demographic data from the City of Chicago’s data portal. This allowed them to update sales territories with a balanced k-means algorithm.

The students used the Recency, Frequency, and Monetary model to segment Goose Island accounts. They then combined the RFM scores with retailer data to create a hierarchical time series model to forecast sales opportunities for retailers in each segment. The team checked their work, applied a few relevant optimizations to their process, and presented results to Goose Island.

Was the team able to pull all these techniques together into an end-to-end solution that worked for Goose Island? And was the company satisfied with the forecast of nearly 47,000 barrels of beer sold in 2019 if this sales approach is implemented?

Watch UChicago Master of Science in Analytics capstone projects unfold in Real Data, Big Impact and see how students collaborate with their clients to deliver successful analytics projects.


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