This April, more than 200 industry practitioners, alumni, academics, and students networked, shared insights, and discussed emerging trends during the Master of Science in Business Analytics program’s day-long Business Analytics Conference.

This year’s theme was “Deploying Large Language Models (LLMs): Opportunities and Challenges for Business.” The conference explored innovations in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). It also provided an opportunity to celebrate the students’ accomplishments throughout the program. In between practitioner-led discussions, several student teams showcased their practicum projects. During these semester-long endeavors, the students worked with client companies to provide solutions to specific challenges the companies face.

“This conference bridges the gap between industry and students,” explains Scott Radcliffe, managing director, MS in Business Analytics program.

Professionals share real-world applications of generative AI. This aligns with our practicum projects where students tackle similar challenges for sponsor firms. It fosters industry connections, equipping students with practical skills and exposure to cutting-edge AI trends. This benefits both students and businesses.

Scott Radcliffe

Experts Explore Emerging AI Technologies

During this year’s conference, various discussions provided insight on emerging technical tools. Experts explored how industry is using these technologies and how businesses can best prepare to incorporate them. The discussions also covered what these emerging trends—and integrating them into one’s enterprise—”means for hiring students like ours,” says Ramnath Chellappa, associate dean and academic director of the MS in Business Analytics program.

Three industry-expert-led discussions focused on current issues regarding large language models:

  • + “Unlocking Global Opportunities: Leveraging a Large Language Model for Business Success,” led by Wael Kdouh, principal cloud solution architect, Microsoft.
  • + “How to Bring Models to Life—Understanding the product ionization, security, robustness, and transparency of AI and ML models,” led by Ashrith Barthur, principal security data scientist,
  • + “Large Language Models’ potential use cases and challenges in healthcare,” led by Yubin Park, chief builder,; adviser, Astrana Health; and adjunct professor, Emory University.

The Power of Personal Connections

A panel discussion during the 2024 Business Analytics Conference at Goizueta Business School

The day also included panel discussions on the topics of “Empowering Adoption: Preparing your Organization for LLMs,” “LLM Risks and the Law: Navigating Risk, Ethics & Compliance,” and “Taming the Tech: Vendor Selection for LLMs.”

Moumi Panja, senior AI consultant, Google, participated in the “Empowering Adoption” panel discussion. “The conference was an unmatched platform for students and professionals to gain cutting-edge insights from industry leaders,” says Panja.

I was privileged to share my expertise in large language models and engage with the next generation of AI-driven innovators. I also had the opportunity to learn and be inspired by the wealth of knowledge and experience shared by my fellow speakers.

Moumi Panja, senior AI consultant, Google

“It’s one thing seeing people on a webcast. It is a completely different ballgame when you meet them in person,” says Owden “O.G.” Mwangama 24MSBA.

In his native Tanzania, Mwangama founded EMET Healthcare. The company uses data analytics and smart technologies to highlight key issues around products such as medical oxygen, IV liquids, and distilled water across Africa. Mwangama spoke with Google’s Panja and several other practitioners regarding cybersecurity in healthcare. “It was a very good opportunity for me,” he says.

Mwangama’s team was unable to showcase the practicum project it completed in partnership with Equifax. This was due to the proprietary nature of the company’s data (everyone who worked on the project went through a background check and signed an NDA). Mwangama describes the project, however, as “the best part of my time at Goizueta. It was a real-life interaction in a business setting,” he says.

Students Showcase Practicum Projects for Industry Leaders

Students showcase their practicum project at the 2024 Business Analytics Conference at Goizueta Business School

Over the course of the spring semester, students apply what they’ve learned throughout the 10-month program to provide solutions to a problem that is relevant to clients such as The Home Depot, Bank of America, Paramount+, Best Buy, and Focus Brands.

Students convert the business problem to a data problem, apply the latest data techniques to gather information, and then translate their discoveries into actionable business solutions. “We are business school students, and we solve business problems,” explained Chellappa. Three student teams, chosen by Radcliffe and Chellappa, presented overviews of their practicum projects to the audience.

The practicum projects showcased during the conference were:

               + Delta Airlines, Enhancing Airline Catering Efficiency: A Predictive Model for Special Meal Planning on Flights

               + NCR Voyix, LLM Knowledge Base Enhancement

               + GoTo Foods, Store Net Unit Growth and Closure Early Intervention Indicator Model

Several other student teams stood at dedicated tables where attendees could learn about their practicum projects.

Career Insights and Industry Networking

A career and alumni panel followed. This included Pratishtha Shukla, manager, marketing data science, The Home Depot, as well as alumni Janvier Nshimyumukiza 23MSBA, senior data scientist, CONA Services, and Jent LaPalm 22MSBA, data scientist, The Home Depot. The three shared their experience and wisdom with current students.

“Our students made great connections at the conference this year,” notes Christina Wan, senior associate director of student affairs, MS in Business Analytics program. “We appreciate our corporate partners and sponsors for their time spent with us.”

Maliki Uwase 24MSBA, calls the conference “an enriching experience.”

Engaging in discussions on data bias, integration, and responsible AI development broadened my perspective. Networking with industry leaders, professionals, and fellow students inspired new ideas for my career. It was a valuable opportunity for growth and learning.

Maliki Uwase 24MSBA

In addition to the client companies for the practicum projects, attendees included C-level executives, data scientists, and consultants from a variety of other firms. These included Mercedes-Benz USA, Sogeti, NVIDIA, Travelers, PwC, Amazon, and McKinsey & Company. Gareth James, John H. Harland Dean of Goizueta Business School, also stopped by to address the audience and speak with participants and students.

On to the Next Problem

Radcliffe and Chellappa are currently working to identify sponsors for the class of 2025’s practicum projects. The pair is looking for companies, explains Radcliffe, with “doable yet complex” problems that the students can tackle with the skills they have learned in the program. Radcliffe and Chellappa hope to have the next slate of sponsors signed by the end of October 2024. In addition to the practicum projects, companies can sponsor various aspects of the Business Analytics Conference.

To learn more about sponsoring a practicum project, contact Nicole Saltau at

Goizueta’s STEM-designated Master’s in Business Analytics combines business, data, and technology to make you an effective business data scientist for a data-driven world. Learn more.