Students Analyze in Competition

Two Brigham Young University Master of Information Systems students think they've figured out how to make successful online retailer even more successful, and the judges agreed. Reed Olsen from Salt Lake City and David Wilson from Highland, Utah, took first place at the fall 2008 Omniture Web Analytics Competition winning $10,000 and HDTVs for their project. Olsen and Wilson, who called their team Group X, also won the crowd favorite award.

More than 150 students gained hands-on experience using Omniture's SiteCatalyst software to analyze online traffic and how consumers shop at during the two-week competition. They then prepared a presentation for Omniture executives on how could optimize the shopping experience and increase profits. 

 "The OWAC gives students the opportunity to participate in a competition that closely resembles a situation faced in the real world by marketing and strategic consultants," says Thomas Gosney, student lead of the competition. "This opportunity prepares students for future situations and tests their ability to work in a difficult and stressful environment."

Group X put in long hours to pull off a victory in the competition. With only two weeks between the competition kick-off and the submission deadline, Olsen and Wilson spent a total of 70 hours preparing their recommendations.

"We have complementary skills that allowed us to work really well together and made the presentation cohesive," Olsen says.

Of the 85 teams that entered the competition, 22 teams presented in the preliminaries and only four made it to the finals held in the Tanner Building where they presented in front of three judges from Omniture.

The team Lost Cousins placed second and received a $5,000 award. The third place team, Analysts on Demand, received $2,500 for their project.

The Omniture Web Analytics Competition is held twice a year. The next competition will take place during winter semester 2009 and is open to all BYU students.

The Marriott School is located at Brigham Young University, the largest privately owned, church-sponsored university in the United States. The school has nationally recognized programs in accounting, business management, public management, information systems and entrepreneurship. The school's mission is to prepare men and women of faith, character and professional ability for positions of leadership throughout the world. Approximately 3,000 students are enrolled in the Marriott School's graduate and undergraduate programs.

Media Contact: Joseph Ogden (801) 422-8938
Writer: Rachel Finley