Research Opportunity Program

Project Stages

DEFINING THE OPPORTUNITY
01

Partners work closely with Wharton faculty to identify critical, long-standing business challenges that researchers can help solve. This includes a comprehensive data audit to understand what data assets are available that can be brought to bear on the problem in new and novel ways.

DATA TRANSFER
02

WCAI’s data team then works to create a “test bed” for new analytics methods. Keeping security and data integrity in the forefront, WCAI reviews the partner’s metadata, creates a data spec for transfer, receives and quality checks the data, and creates “clean” metadata that is more accessible to researchers.

WEBINAR / CALL FOR PROPOSALS
03

Together with the Corporate Partner, WCAI hosts an online webinar profiling the project to an extensive multi-disciplinary network of top faculty and data scientists from around the world. This crowd-sourced approach attracts a range of novel proposals from researchers passionate about solving the same challenges the company faces.

PROPOSAL SELECTION
04

WCAI provides the partner with review ratings that promote a diverse portfolio of research projects. WCAI and the partner then work to identify the most novel and analytically sound submissions that can leverage the data “at-hand” to address the partner’s key challenges. The ultimate decision for which projects move forward rests with the partner.

Research
05

WCAI manages the legal licensing of data to the selected research teams and handles all effort in data transfer. Once research is underway, WCAI manages day-to-day operations to minimize demands on the partner’s time and resources. Scheduled check-in calls offer the partner insight into the research process and let scholars bring their expertise directly to the partner for further exploration.

FINDINGS AND APPLIED RESEARCH
06

At the end of the research cycle, WCAI hosts a private, in-person symposium where researchers present their findings to the partner. Shortly after, WCAI helps run a candid analysis of the findings with the partner and can facilitate an ongoing relationship with select teams whose ideas and methods are most appealing, as the partner moves to apply key findings.

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Working TOgether

Partner Benefits


WCAI has partnered with over 20 companies, and in each case, academic researchers paired creative solutions with rigorous methodology, offering truly novel approaches to previously unsolved challenges.

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Case Study

Breakthrough Mechanics


CHALLENGE:

Stop Spending Advertising Dollars on Creative That Performs Poorly

Proposed Solution:

A sophisticated model that will score an individual ad’s performance while accounting for wear-out and restoration

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Featured

Research Opportunities


CORPORATE PARTNER VIEWPOINT

“Not just a theory or hypothesis”

Anna Nicanorova (WG’11 ) works on rapid prototyping of new data products at Annalect.

Hear how WCAI—and our other corporate partners—help her take on complex, persistent challenges

View full YouTube playlist 

CORPORATE PARTNER VIEWPOINT

“Now latency of hours is too long”

Shaun Desmond (Free People, URBN Inc.) looks to objective, academic results to help guide the next big analytics project.

He’s also excited about WCAI’s dialogue on building out the analytics team.

View full YouTube playlist 

“Working with the WCAI data team was remarkably easy. Once the licensing agreement was signed, they handled everything our data security team required, and let me focus on my day-to-day tasks. We even took the data key they made to onboard our new employees!”

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.@Wharton launched a brand new #BusinessAnalyticsSpecialization on Coursera. @garrett_geoff posted all about it here: http://t.co/KfohDR6D7s