MSBA Applied Project

You are invited to benefit from a team of advanced Master of Science in Business Analytics students (MSBAs) working on an important actionable project for your organization.

We will need to have a brief proposal from you by October 5, 2017 for MSBA cohort that starts on September 2017 (by May 5, 2018 for MSBA cohort that starts on June 2018) if you would like to be considered. There is no cost to you… In the paragraphs that follow, we tell you more about this opportunity. Please e-mail this project proposal to Professor Demirkan ( A 1 to 2 page sample proposal is available in here.

Under the direction of Milgard faculty advisors, teams of three to six students from the Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) program will use strategic thinking, operational excellence, complex problem-solving, creativity, and teamwork skills to tackle ​​​an organization’s challenges and create value-added services. These students are not interns helping with day-to-day administrative tasks; they are project-focused professionals working independently and off-site with occasional meetings with key guidance from faculty advisors and periodic assistance from you.

How it works:

Beginning in October 2017 and concluding in early June 2018 (September 2017 cohort) [Beginning in June 2018 and concluding in early June 2019 (June 2018 cohort)] , the MSBA student teams will work on a comprehensive business analytics and digital transformation assignment or project (in 4-phase) by dedicating approximately six hours per week (per consultant) for you using the skills developed in their specialized course work that is part of a course called “Applied Project: Digital Transformation Lab.”

The main objective of the Applied Project is to create a setting in which students can apply the advanced concepts, theories and frameworks encountered in the MSBA program in an integrative fashion, and they can demonstrate their distinctive knowledge and skills to solve existing business problems or cultivate new opportunities, and improve the performance of organizations through live consultative projects that typically include data collection, analysis, demo, digital transformation plan and recommendations.

The broad theme of the project will be to address a problem domain in an area where analytic and digital solutions have not yet advanced to a point of wide-scale adoption.

The idea is to align projects with organizations willing to share a problem (or opportunity) and data that addresses an important new frontier of analytics deployment for their organization.

The challenge will be for students to identify from the training they have received the relevant tool suites, analytics frameworks and emerging digital solutions (e.g. big data, mobile/cloud/fog/cognitive computing, internet-of-things, social media, mobile, smart services) they deem might apply – and to get ‘as far as they can’ in discovering insights from the data.

This research orientation is intended to push the envelope of the student’s skills to under-explored applied domains (e.g. marketing, social media, HR, customer, sales, ERP/supply chain, logistics, operations, manufacturing, advertising, finance, retail, education, healthcare, sports, e-commerce, IT, telecommunications, hospitality/tourism, public services, utility).

In addition, students will work on an end-to-end project whereby data sources are messy, business value needs to be defined and discovered, and their teaming and communication skills can be challenged and advanced.


Key features

  • Use the latest technology to deliver a world-class experience
  • Experience the best of both worlds—quarterly on-campus sessions ensure networking opportunities while online classes give you the flexibility you need
  • Interact with your peers through web conferencing, discussion boards and social media tools
  • Weekly synchronous office hours via video teleconferencing
  • Learn to lead and collaborate with teams in virtual environments
  • Receive regular contact from Milgard’s faculty
  • Participate in online and face-to-face workshops and coaching sessions

All cohorts will have

  • A total of 40 credits in graduate coursework
  • Face-to-face Saturday classes + eLearning (40% in-person + 60% asynchronous eLearning)
  • Class meetings at UW Tacoma on Saturdays (9:00am - 12:20pm and 1:30pm - 4:50pm) with synchronous office hours via video teleconferencing

Course List for September 2017 Cohort









TBANLT 520 Analytics Strategy & Big Data Management (4 credits)

TBANLT 530 Business Process & Workflow Analysis (4 credits)

TBANLT 550 Analytical Decision Making (4 credits)

TBANLT 540 Applied Regression Models (4 credits)

TBANLT 560 Data Mining (4 credits)

TBANLT 570 Text Mining (4 credits)

TBANLT 510 Business Analytics (4 credits)


TBANLT 580 Social Media Analytics





TBANLT 591 Applied Project: Digital Transformation Lab I (2 credits)

TBANLT 592 Applied Project: Digital Transformation Lab II (2 credits)

TBANLT 593 Applied Project: Digital Transformation Lab III (2 credits)

TBANLT 594 Applied Project: Digital Transformation Lab IV (2 credits)

As part of this project, students will complete the following 4 phases:

  • Phase 1: Discover concentrates on industry, market and organization analysis to discover opportunities for data and analytics enabled digital transformations
  • Phase 2: Plan concentrates on processes performed to analyze, scope and plan the problem
  • Phase 3: Develop concentrates on the analytics-enabled transformation with collection, storage, analysis of data and development of digital solutions
  • Phase 4: Deploy concentrates on processes performed to prototype and lessons learned, analyze findings, recognize ethical dilemmas and social responsibilities

Professor Haluk Demirkan will lead this course with the Center for Business Analytics Team. With his almost 20 years professional consulting experience, along with his interdisciplinary research and teaching background in analytics, service innovation and digital transformation with cognitive computing and service-oriented technology and management, he will be a great mentor for students.

We sincerely hope you will take advantage of this opportunity and benefit from our MSBA Program. We will be able to do only seven to nine projects, and will need a brief proposal from you.

Step 1: Submit a proposal

When you are defining the proposal, please note that the projects need to result with applied recommendations and implementation plans with some amount of measurable benefit and cost analysis.

Your one-to-two page project proposal may include the following:

  • Company/Organization name
  • Who will be the day-to-day contact from your firm (name, position, phone and e-mail)?
  • Who will be the project’s executive sponsor (name, position, phone and e-mail)?
  • Brief background information about your organization
  • Brief background to the project (problem, challenge, or opportunity to be addressed by the project)
  • Please indicate which of the following topic areas relate to your project (select all that apply): Marketing, Customer, Sales, Advertising, Social media, HR, ERP/supply chain, Logistics, Operations, Manufacturing/production, E-commerce, Banking & Financial Services, Consumer Packaged Goods, Retail, Healthcare & Pharmaceutical, IT solutions, Telecommunications, Digital Media, Hospitality/Tourism, Education, Utility, Public Services, Government, None-profit, and others.
  • Why the project is important to your firm?
  • What you hope to gain from an MSBA team? (What would you like to find out or have accomplished; what is the desired deliverable?)
  • What are some key tasks the students will perform to complete the project?
  • What resources are available to complete the project (access to data, software, hardware, and support from staff, etc.)?
  • Any risks or assumptions that may be relevant to the project
  • A sample proposal to guide you 

Step 2: Proposal Review & Matching Process (October)

Once your proposal is reviewed and accepted by the Center for Business Analytics at Milgard School of Business, it will be shared with the MSBA teams. You will hear back from Professor Demirkan around October 12 on whether your project has been selected. We expect to have more project possibilities than we will be able to work on so the selection process will be competitive. If your proposal is not being selected for this cohort, we will work closely with you to revise your proposal and make it ready for our next cohort that will start on June 2018.

Step 3: Three-Way Meeting (October/November)

You will meet with the consultants and the faculty advisor to develop a Statement of Work/Project Charter. Student teams will develop a project plan.

Step 4: Project Work (November through June)

Student teams receive faculty guidance and consult with your organization while conducting research and developing deliverables. Project work will also include continuous project reviews and status updates, as well as, delivery of final written report and oral presentations to clients.

If you are pleased with the final project deliverable, we would like for you to consider making a donation to the Center for Business Analytics on behalf of our activities with students.

For more information, please contact Professor Demirkan, Instructor and/or Jaime Core, Program Manager from Center for Business Analytics to express your preliminary interest regarding this opportunity. Email final project proposals to Professor Demirkan: and/or Jaime Core: