MSBA students during live case

Experiential Learning

Real Data. Real Clients.
Real Business Analytics Experience.

In addition to classroom learning, students at the Carlson School gain real experience working on analytics projects for corporate partners. All three semesters include experiential learning opportunities to ensure students practice applying theory to real-world problems. Thanks to this unique program design, students graduate with both a degree and a stronger resume.

Real World Learning

MSBA alumni discuss how the experiential learning project allowed them to apply classroom learning

Welcome to the Carlson Analytics Lab

All MSBA students practice being data analytics consultants in the Carlson Analytics Lab. The Lab operates as a professional consulting firm, sourcing real projects from real client companies. The data sets are complex, interesting, and often messy. Lab projects challenge students to be effective analytics professionals who can think critically, apply analytics techniques, manage projects from beginning to end, and communicate results to business stakeholders.

MSBA student live case winners

Live Case Competitions

Each year the Carlson Analytics Lab partners with client companies to bring "live cases" into MSBA classrooms. Over the course of four weeks, MSBA students work in teams to answer a real business question using data.

Teams compete for the top prize, as decided by the sponsor company, but everyone gets valuable experience they can list on a resume.

MSBA Analytics Lab

Full-Stack Analytics Project

During your last semester in the MSBA program, you'll work on a longer analytics project as part of a team of student consultants. You'll meet with your business partners weekly to understand their needs, select and apply appropriate analytics techniques, report your progress to a faculty advisor, prepare findings and recommendations to present to your clients, and deliver your final work products just before graduation.

Work with Leading Companies and Make an Impact

Students in the Carlson Analytics Lab have worked with a variety of client companies, from start-ups to Fortune 100 businesses. Major retailers, medical device manufacturers, leading consulting firms, agribusinesses, entertainment destinations, government agencies, healthcare providers, and an airline have partnered with the lab, among others.

Agribusiness

Consulting

Retail & Entertainment

And More

Build Your Resume as You Study

Working in teams of four to six, MSBA students get exposure to how leading organizations use analytics to derive business value from data. Advised by faculty and staff members, students run their own projects from start to finish, assessing needs and devising project-specific approaches to the work. This means you'll finish your MS in Business Analytics degree with real work experience — something that is very attractive to potential employers.

The projects are my favorite part of the program because you actually do get to take what you're learning in the classroom and put it into the real world.

msba analytics student Katharine Krawczyk
– Katie Krawczyk, '18 MSBA, Senior Business Strategist at Pilot Company

As a student-led team it really is student-led. We get faculty support and we get support from the client we're working on, but it's more independent than you might expect. I've really loved my experience with my team working on the project we're on.

Nick Rosener
– Nick Rosener, '16 MSBA, Strategy and Analytics Lead, Google Cloud

I don't just have theoretical knowledge of what I've learnt; now I have actual practical experience.

Saurabh Jaisankar, '18 MSBA
– Saurabh Jaisankar, '18 MSBA, Senior Consultant at Fractal Analytics

It's so rewarding to see how you can put together all the knowledge and skills you learn from this program and actually apply it in a real business case.

MSBA alum Wendy Lu, '17
– Wendy Lu, '17 MSBA, Growth Data Scientist at Figma

You might learn a particular algorithm in a class ... and yet here, you actually do it with real-world data and with real-world clients.

MSBA alum Bill Eerdmans '17
– Bill Eerdmans, '17 MSBA, Data Scientist at Cargill

Need talent for an analytics project?

Companies that work with the Carlson Analytics Lab get high quality project work and the opportunity to meet skilled students before they hit the job market. 

Learn More

Contact MS Business Analytics