Awards/Judging Criteria


Monetary awards will be granted to up to 8 finalist teams. 

First Prize: $7,500
Second Prize:  $5,000
Third Prize: $3,500
Fourth Prize: $1,500
Fifth Prize: $1,000
Honorable Mention: $500 (3 prizes)

Winners will also receive award certificates for each team member and for the school. In addition, each finalist team will receive a stipend to offset the cost of travel for team members who present at the INFORMS Business Analytics Conference. Conference registration will be provided for up to 5 student members per finalist team.

Judging Criteria
The written report your team provides in the entry form is the foundation of your entry. Entries will be judged on use of the full analytics process - incorporating not only the technical analysis and solution, but also understanding of the business problem, team organization, and the clarity and effectiveness of communication. Think of this report as a presentation to upper management on the critical elements in the analytics decision process.

The following are the main criteria and weighting judges will consider when evaluating your entry: 

Quality of Solution 

  • The problem is clearly defined. Objectives and tradeoffs are addressed and weighed.
  • The report proposes a solution that makes sense and adds value to the company.  The report assesses how well the solution meets the criteria of the stakeholders.  The analysis assesses how sensitive the solution is to assumptions and data.  


  • Data used in the model have been collected, cleaned and analyzed correctly.
  • The methodology(ies) used for solving the problem is(are) reasonable and appropriate.
  • The model has been clearly formulated, with decision variables and parameters defined. The model formulation is correct and applicable to the problem.
  • Simplifying assumptions made in the model are clearly stated, reasonable, and assessed.

Quality of Presentation 

  • The report is cleanly written (e.g. few typos; few distracting grammatical errors; appendices, tables and figures are well-labeled and easy to read).
  • The writing is coherent, fluid, and has a clear structure.
  • All sources are credited.
  • The Executive Summary is appropriately written for the target audience (executives of the Title Sponsor).
  • The team makeup and process are clearly described so that the reader can understand the division of labor and workflow of the project.

Finalist Selection, Presentation and Judging
Finalist teams will be selected from the written entries. Finalists will make oral presentations during a competition session at the INFORMS Business Analytics Conference, April 15-17, 2018 in Baltimore, MD. Judges will evaluate teams’ presentation skills in addition to the strength of the written entries. They will consider factors such as:

- Clarity and effectiveness of communication
- Visual aids and use of visualization
- Materials and handouts
- Handling and completeness of responses to judges’ questions

Finalist presentations will be videotaped so the presentations can be shared.