Krannert-Walmart Data Dive

Krannert and Walmart hosted invited teams of university students as part of a Data Dive.

April 2-3, 2016

About the competition

Teams from Northwestern University and the Georgia Institute of Technology won the inaugural Krannert-Walmart Data Dive on the campus of Purdue University on April 2-3. Each team took home $5,000 in prize money.

A total of 17 teams from 11 universities took part in the competition. Graduate and undergraduate students used Walmart trend data and were tasked with developing solutions in two areas—customer segmentation and predicting products for efficient shelf space usage.

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 said. “I was incredibly impressed by the breadth and insight of the questions we were asked.”

For Northwestern student Eric Lundquist, who was part of the winning team in customer segmentation, the competition provided real-world perspective to what he is learning in the classroom.

“Statistics are only useful in the extent to which they provide business value and can be communicated clearly and understood fully. We spend a lot of time considering the business value and actionability of our approach, which is something that doesn’t always come up in some of our more technical academic coursework,” Lundquist said.

Georgia Tech’s Brian Burns said his team found the large amount of information allowed them to drill deeper into the company’s issues. “I’ve had experience with data-driven decisions prior to this competition, but what Walmart’s data set highlighted is that strategic decisions can become more granular as the volume and variety of information becomes larger,” Burns said.

In addition to the winning schools and the host team from Purdue, the competitors included entries from Indiana University, Michigan State University, Ohio State University, University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, University of Iowa, University of Maryland, University of Rochester and University of Texas-Dallas.

The competition is believed to be the first data dive on a college campus. It was organized by Mohammad Rahman, associate professor of management at Purdue’s Krannert School of Management, and was the first major activity conducted by Purdue’s Krenicki Center for Business Analytics & Machine Learning.


Customer Segmentation

  • Data Dynasty - Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Kelley MSIS Team - Indiana University
  • Spartans - Michigan State University
  • Static Void - Northwestern University
  • The Kranalytical Thinkers - Purdue University
  • UIUC Team 1 - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Team Hawkeyes - University of Iowa
  • Simon MBA - University of Rochester
  • UTD-JSOM - University of Texas - Dallas

Predicting Products for Efficient Shelf Space Usage

  • O-Mazing - Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Kelley Undergraduate Team - Indiana University
  • Team Fisher - Ohio State University
  • Team JAHNS - Purdue University
  • Data'll Do It - University of Iowa
  • TerpData - University of Maryland
  • Breaking Data - University of Rochester
  • UTD-JSOM 2 - University of Texas - Dallas


Northwestern team accepting their prize

The three-member Northwestern team, comprised of Daniel Breitbach, Eric Lundquist and Terrence Neumann, won the Customer Segmentation part of the competition.

Georgia Institute of Technology team accepting their prize

The four-member team from Georgia Institute of Technology won the Predicting Products for Efficient Shelf Space Usage part of the event. Brian Burns, Amit Ranshinge, Nityansh Seth and Francesco Zompo represented Georgia Institute of Technology.


Deadline: February 29, 2016

Registration has ended

Meals, non-alcoholic drinks, and snacks will be provided during the competition.

All technology will be provided. No need to bring laptops and computers.

Data will be  provided by Walmart.

There is no cost to register and participate in the event, but lodging and travel expenses are the responsibility of each team. Special discount on lodging is available at Purdue Memorial Union and Hilton Garden Inn in West Lafayette.

Krannert recommends that teams arrive on Friday, April 1st in order to register and begin the competition on time on Saturday.

how to

  • Each team will need to be nominated by a faculty member of its university.
  • Teams are comprised of three to five members. Undergraduate and master’s students are eligible. Ph.D. students are not eligible.
  • Registration is limited to at most two teams (one team per problem track) from each university.
  • Each team must provide a team name and list all team members.
  • All team members will be required to sign a liability release form and upload it with the registration.

Krannert reserves the right to modify or otherwise change team names.

During the entire competition, participants are required to stay in Rawls Hall.

After the competition is over, teams are encouraged to use public transportation or designate a driver in order to arrive safely at their destinations on Sunday.

problems and prizes

Krannert-Walmart Data Dive will present student teams with practical business problems to be solved using data analytics tools and business acumen. By hosting the first university organized data dive, Krannert and Walmart are joining the surging trend of employer and student interest in data analytics.

One business problem will involve predicting products for efficient shelf space usage and the other  problem will involve customer segmentation.

Two cash prizes totaling $10,000 ($5,000 for each winning team) will be awarded after the entries are judged. Judges will include top Walmart executives. Prizes are per team and not per individual. The cash prizes will be divided among the members of the  team.


saturday, april 2nd
7:00 a.m. Registration begins, breakfast
8:00 a.m. Opening remarks
8:15 a.m. Unveiling of the business problems; competition begins
9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Sessions on problem statements, data definitions, accessing the data, and available tools (all conducted by Walmart representatives)
10:30 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. Lunch, dinner, snacks, and non-alcohol drinks will be provided
sunday, april 3rd
12:00 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. Snacks, non-alcohol drinks, and breakfast will be provided
Sleeping/resting is encouraged, but participants may not leave Rawls Hall
8:15 a.m. Competition ends
8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Teams present their findings to the judges
12:00 p.m. to 3 p.m. Awards lunch


  • At most two teams per university (limited to one per problem track) are allowed.
  • Teams can have between three and five members.
  • The same team cannot participate in solving both business problems.
  • Prizes totaling $10,000 ($5,000 to each winning team) will be awarded.
  • Prizes are per team and not per individual.
  • Prize money will be divided among the members of each winning team.
  • There is no registration fee, but lodging and transportation costs are the responsibility of each team.
  • Students are permitted to bring sleeping bags and pillows.
  • Dress code is casual, but keep in mind that Walmart representatives will be in the building looking for future employees.
  • All team members will be required to sign a liability release form and upload it with the registration.
  • Internet access will be made available, but only to research the business problem and related materials.
  • Participants are not permitted to use smartphones, cell phones or other electronic devices during the competition.
  • Participants are not allowed to receive help from anyone other than members of their team. Walmart assistance will be available where appropriate.
  • Teams will be disqualified if found in violation of any of these rules.
  • Representatives from Walmart will be available to bring students up-to-date on the latest technology advances made by the company.
  • Access to publicly available data can be made via requests to the Walmart Help Desk during the competition. Walmart may choose to deny any request to download external data.
  • Krannert and Walmart will own the rights to all deliverables created during the competition.


Rawls Hall is located at: 100 S. Grant Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907

Directions from I-65: Take exit 172 and proceed west (toward Lafayette) on South Street. Proceed 4 miles to West Lafayette. When you cross the Wabash River you are in West Lafayette and are now on State Street. Proceed to the fourth traffic light. On your left is Rawls Hall. For parking turn right on Grant Street (away from Rawls Hall). The Grant Street Parking Garage (PGG on campus map) will be within ½ a block on your right.

Shuttles from Indianapolis International Airport and Chicago’s O’Hare Airport are available. For additional directions, travel information, and maps visit the Purdue Visitor Information Center.

Special room rates available until March 11th, or until the group blocks are sold out.

Hilton Garden Inn

356 East State Street, West Lafayette, Indiana 47906

To make a reservation visit:

Room includes two queen beds for $101.00 USD/Night plus applicable taxes.

Full list of amenities available at the registration link above.

Purdue Memorial Union

101 North Grant Street, West Lafayette, IN 47906

To make a reservation, contact Joni Moore or call 800-320-6291.

Required information: Dates of stay, names, addresses, phone numbers, and billing information. Credit Cards may be used over the phone.

Standard rooms are available for $99 USD/Night plus applicable taxes and include a queen or a double and a twin bed.

A full list of amenities is available at: