Rachel Crouch VIDEO EXTRA: Meet Rachel Crouch, who was among the first Krannert graduates to earn a bachelor's degree in supply chain, information analytics and management and now works for General Motors as a software developer. (Photo by Purdue Marketing and Media)

Data Divers

When she graduated in May 2016, Rachel Crouch became one of the first Krannert alumni with a bachelor’s degree in  supply chain information analytics and management.

She’s now working as a software developer for General Motors Corp. in Detroit with the automaker’s enterprise data warehousing group. “I’m working specifically on data migration,” Crouch says. “It’s a wonderful fit because it allows me to focus on the data analytics side of information technology.”

Crouch says one of her favorite Purdue experiences was competing in the Kraft Data Dive with her Krannert undergraduate team in spring of 2015.

“One professor, Mohammad Rahman, hand-selected us and told us we were up to the challenge,” Crouch says. “We traveled to downtown Chicago to compete against graduate teams from top-ranked business analytics schools. Despite our trepidation, we walked in proudly bearing our Boilermaker pride.

“It was a grueling 23-hour-long competition. Two of us stayed up all night running queries and troubleshooting technical errors.

“In the morning, the judges told us that we were the team they worried about in the dead of the night as we ran into error after error. However, our persistence paid off and we were awarded the grand prize and first place!”

Walmart Data DiveIn April 2016, Purdue welcomed 17 undergraduate and graduate student teams from 11 universities to the West Lafayette campus for the Krannert-Walmart Data Dive.

The teams had 24 hours to analyze data sets provided by the international retailer and submit an idea to improve efficient shelf space usage or customer segmentation.

Organized by Rahman, the competition is believed to be the first data dive on a college campus and was the first major activity conducted by the Business Information and Analytics Center.

Several Walmart executives were on hand for the 24-hour competition, including Karenann Terrell, executive vice president and chief information officer.

“You won’t find the kind of commitment these students displayed during the competition very often,” Terrell says. “I was incredibly impressed by the breadth and insight of the questions we were asked.”

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