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Super Analytics Challenge Prepares to Change Lives
SAC Finale 2023

The third annual Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business Super Analytics Challenge wrapped up on Friday, February 17, with the winning team of students chosen for their data-driven solution related to the shortage of behavioral health and mental health workers.

Projects presented at this year’s finale included: connecting veterans with PTSD to pet companionship; through the Allegheny County website, AI-enhancing accessibility to mental health support; and for people incarcerated, supporting assimilation through wellness.

Sara Moeller, associate dean of graduate programs, announced the winning team, which had an idea to improve access to summer programming for teenagers:

  • Nausheen Fatima (MS Marketing Science and Business Analytics ’23)
  • Shuang Wu (MS Finance and Business Analytics ’23)
  • Chen Jin (MS Management of Information Systems ’23)
  • Abhishek Suman (ENGR MS Industrial Engineering ’26)

Moeller enjoyed watching all the student presentations and is excited to see which ideas can come to fruition. She said, “As a business school, we execute. We bring things to scale.”

Judging by Experts

New this year, all five teams delivered their final presentations to an in-person crowd of internal and external partners.

The final panel of judges included:

  • Jenn Batterton – Manager, Justice Collaborations at Allegheny County Department of Human Services
  • Jonathan Kersting – Vice President of Communications and Media at Pittsburgh Technology Council
  • Zachary Markovitis – Vice President & Local Practice Lead at Results for America
  • Albrecht Powell – Managing Director, Digital Data & Analytics at Accenture
  • Manpreet Saini – Practice Head, Analytics & Insight at SAP North America

Powell, an executive-in-residence (EIR) that works closely with the challenge, congratulated students on their life-changing ideas. He said, “Thank you for the time, the ideas, the energy. Thank you for changing a life.”

Some of the ideas generated through the Super Analytics Challenge are brought to life through the Bridge Program. More information about summer opportunities through the Bridge Program will be coming soon.

Special Thanks

The Career Management and Corporate Engagement team at Katz wanted to give special thanks to: Batterton in her role as judge and professional development instructor; Powell, a judge and EIR, for their extensive roles; and Jewel Denne, Assistant Deputy Director, Allegheny County Department of Human Services, who served as a subject matter expert.

Thank you as well to the advisory committee members, executive coaches, expert contributors, professional development workshop presenters, and community partners.

Other Awards & Recognition

Team 5 won Best Team Spirit. Members of this team included:

  • Zichun Wang (MS Marketing Science and Business Analytics ’23)
  • Justin Thomas (MBA/MS ENGR ‘22)
  • Nastaran Roostaeian (PUBH ’23)
  • Nishant Saun (MBA MS Supply Chain Management ’24)
  • Parinith Shiva Kumar (MS Management and Business Analytics ’24)

Denise Bergdolt (MS ’23) won Best Presenter. Moeller noted that she was impressed by Bergdolt from when the two first met at orientation.

Kersting hosted members of the Super Analytics Challenge Committee on the Pittsburgh Tech Council’s TechVibe Radio Podcast. Listen to the session here.