people working on computer

Carlson Analytics Lab Process

Clients come to the Carlson Analytics Lab with all kinds of business analytics needs: from engineering new ways to harness the power of data to in-depth analyses, and from machine learning models to data-driven optimization strategies. Our flexible approach can accommodate a wide range of project types. Contact our professional staff to learn more about engagement options. We can help define and scope your project as we talk through the details of working together. 

Engagement Options

The Carlson Analytics Lab offers a variety of project-based engagement options. Duration, timing, and availability vary, but all options are designed to deliver analytics value at a fraction of comparable market rates.

  • Interactive workshop based on Google Venture’s Design Sprint process. 
  • Facilitated by Carlson School faculty experts. 
  • Learn how to identify feasible analytics projects, questions, data sources, approaches, and metrics. 
  • Leave with one or more clearly defined analytics project proposals, tailored for your business. 
  • 2 days • $5,000 per team
  • You provide data and specify a question of interest to your business.
  • Multiple teams of graduate students tackle the problem in a friendly competition-style event.
  • See a range of solutions and ideas from the top teams before naming a winner.
  • Your receive work products from all teams.
  • 4 weeks • $10,000 per project
  • Longer analytics consulting engagements address a business question of your choosing.
  • Work with a team of 4-6 graduate students as part of their capstone learning experience. 
  • Teams meet with you weekly to ensure the work aligns with your needs and objectives.
  • At the project mid point, teams give a formal presentation of initial results and plans for completing the work.
  • Receive in-depth analyses, custom-built models, code, recommendations, dashboards, etc.
  • 14 weeks • $35,000 per project
people working in group
Collaborative Engagement

Professional staff help set up your project for success and monitor work progress. Student consultants follow a consultative problem-solving approach and engage directly with clients to understand the business context, project requirements, and desired outcomes.

MSBA students talking with faculty
Expert Guidance

All Carlson Analytics Lab student consulting teams receive guidance from a faculty advisor and support from professional staff. Clients are always welcome to contact faculty and staff as the project progresses.

Solve Business Challenges with Data and Analytics
Results You Can Use

Depending upon the project, teams deliver analyses, reports, code, models, live dashboards, and knowledge transfer documentation, ensuring that client needs are met and that solutions are implemented. 

Project Types

laptop icon
What happened?

exploratory analysis

icon of bar graph and arrow indicating growth
What's ahead?


data mining
machine learning

Did x truly cause y?

a/b testing

illustration of three people as icons
What should we do?



Based on the needs of each project, teams use a variety of technologies and tools, including:

Oracle • Microsoft SQL server • SQLMy • SQL • Hadoop • MapReduce • Amazon Web Services • Python • R • SAS/JMP • RapidMiner • Tableau • PowerBI



Veronika Torarp

Just to get an external perspective and engaging with the community is really valuable to us. Hearing from students what their questions are can help us think about a problem that we're used to, differently. 

Veronika Torarp
Partner, Strategy&, part of the PwC network

Partnering with the Carlson Analytics Lab

Ellen Trader and Ravi Bapna talk about the benefits of partnerships between client companies and the Carlson Analytics Lab.

Carlson Analytics Lab