Industry-sponsored projects

Our partnerships with community and industry practicum sponsors are a critical component to the success of our MS in Data Science and Business Analytics program (MSDSBA). We are happy to be able to provide both our students and our partners with mutually beneficial resources through our Practicum Projects that run each year during the summer (projects typically start at the beginning of May and end in the middle of August).

Community and industry support of practicum projects allow students to gain practical experience in the data science and business analytics industry. At the same time, our partners are provided with well-prepared and eager graduates who are ready to contribute to their organizations.

Team composition

Each student team is typically made up of 3 to 6 students based on the nature of the project. Each student typically spends 20 to 30 hours per week on the project (including meetings). Sponsors are given an opportunity to rank the students in terms of their interest. Teams will be finalized by looking at sponsor input, student preferences, as well as project needs and requirements.

Sponsorship benefits

  • High impact project results: Team projects consist of highly visible data science and business analytics challenges with both engineering and business components. A successful team project is one which could add value to your organization, potentially resulting in a significant return on your company's investment and improving its competitive advantage.
  • Early recruiting opportunities: Team projects help with your recruiting efforts, giving you early access to our bright and talented students. Once a team has been assembled, team projects provide a highly effective evaluation and recruitment environment.
  • No long-term commitment: Teams will work closely with the sponsoring organization throughout the project. Once complete, teams will handoff the project by delivering all the code sets and tools along with a final results presentation to the sponsoring organization.

Team project roles and responsibilities

  • The project sponsor is responsible for identifying a project topic/scope that is well aligned with the strengths of the MSDSBA program and for providing access to necessary data and key support staff for continued project progress monitoring and timely feedback.
  • Faculty advisors will help the project sponsor in selecting a topic and will be responsible for mentoring the students for successful project development and impact.
  • Student teams are responsible for developing necessary solutions and technologies for delivering a purposeful and impactful solution and for providing supporting documentation.
  • All parties involved will execute a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), if necessary, to protect any sensitive and confidential information from sponsor as well as resulting intellectual property.

Team project investment

You are invited to put the power of Wayne State University's MSDSBA program to work for your business as a sponsoring company. The sponsor fee is determined by the scope of the project (typically $10,000) and covers the cost of project administration and faculty involvement.

Tentative timeline

  • Sponsors submit proposals by February 15th
  • Sponsors are selected by March 1st
  • Project "Statement of Work" is finalized by March 15th
  • Sponsor prepares necessary datasets by March 30th
  • Sponsors and students express preferences for team composition by April 10th
  • Teams are finalized by April 15th
  • Sponsor transfers data to secure Wayne State compute environments by April 20th
  • Non-Disclosure Agreements are signed by April 20th
  • Project kick-off meeting is scheduled for 1st week of May
  • Payments: Upfront payment of $5,000 is due by May 5th; Final payment of $5,000 is due within a week on project completion.

Project proposal submission

You may submit a project by completing the online proposal:

Proposal form

See sample proposals from non-proprietary projects:

  • City of Detroit: AI Platform for Streamlining Inspections of Restaurants & Food Establishments using Public & Private Data Sources
  • Wayne State University: Analytics Platform for Improving Student Retention & Success

For more information, contact Prof. Ratna Babu Chinnam, Program Co-Director