MSBA team

A team of two Carlson School MS in Business Analytics (MSBA) students won the Fan Votes award and an overall second spot in the Sports Analytics Fall Challenge organized by Analyze This! and Minneanalytics. Aayush Agrawal and Wenrui Liu competed against 10 other teams of professionals working across the Twin Cities area. The competition, which was a mix of exploratory analytics, predictive analytics, and business communication, kicked off back in October and finished up on January 10.

Agrawal and Liu thought the competition would be a great opportunity to utilize the skills they have learned in the MSBA program and enjoy a healthy competition with other students and professionals.

They also thought it would be fun to learn a little something about baseball analytics: the competition was about exploring, analyzing, and predicting FanDuel (a fantasy sports app) points in baseball for every hitter-pitcher combination per game.

“We were given a dataset of hitter-pitcher encounters per game for all 2016 regular season contests,” Agrawal said. “We analyzed and predicted FanDuel points and created a presentation of our findings, insights, and recommendations.”

The first presentation round took place on January 5 in which 10 teams submitted their insights and findings in front of a panel of judges. Only four teams moved ahead after the first round to present on January 10. At this time, Agrawal and Liu, calling themselves team Overfitters, gave their final presentation in front of judges and other baseball enthusiasts.

Agrawal said that due to having experience working together, he and Liu were able to efficiently use each other’s capabilities to the fullest by distributing tasks based on their individual strength areas. “We were also able to work with a real-life dataset, which gave us good practice in all the aspects of data science,” he said.

Agrawal adds that he and Liu would like to give a shout-out to Assistant Professor Panagiotis (Panos) Adamopoulos for teaching them a predictive modeling course and to Lee Thomas for all the tips given on business communication throughout the MSBA program.