Students Analyze Major Airlines at Annual Goglin Data Analytics Case Competition

The School of Accountancy & MIS held its annual Goglin Case Competition on March 2, 2020, led by Associate Professor Ning Du. Student participants examined different sets of financial and accounting data about major players in the airline industry. They were put to the test utilizing Excel functions to create pivot tables and visualizations for analysis and conclusions.

“This case study uses real traffic and financial data reported by major U.S. air carriers across multiple years,” says Du. “It requires students to use analytical skills and critical thinking to work with big data to evaluate financial performance in the airline industry. It also allows them to acquire an in-depth understanding of the financial reporting process as a whole.”

The case analysis was especially timely given the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the airline industry. Working with big data, the students were better able to pinpoint the industry’s financial challenges.

Teams delivered ten minute presentations before a panel of judges comprised of accounting professionals and professors. The finalists presented their results to Mike Whelan, EY partner; Mike Santay, Grant Thornton partner, and Ning Du, associate professor of accounting. In the end, Danny Acevedo and Saifali Ismaili, both juniors studying accounting, beat out the competition as the winning team.

“Students in this case competition had the opportunity to hone their data analytics skills and practice them in a team setting, which in turn helped each of them recognize their strengths and areas of focus,” says Whelan. “This experience will benefit them greatly as they prepare to enter the workforce.”

The Driehaus College of Business emphasizes data analytics in its curriculum to better position students for success in their future careers. Opportunities like this case competition in the School of Accountancy & MIS allows students to develop these skills and broaden their understanding of accounting.

By Bartlomiej Lichon

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