May 22, 2019— Northern Kentucky University's Center for Economic Education (CEE) and the University of Kentucky’s Economics Department competed in the second annual Econ Games, a data analytics and research event designed to introduce students to a real-world economic problem using a dataset provided by a corporate partner, 84.51°.
Students kicked off the competition learning how 84.51° uses economics and data analysis to help retail partners develop, nurture and embrace customer-driven relationships. 84.51° then supplied customer data from the Kroger Company. Students were given five hours to work in teams to understand the data and then presented their recommendations for the grocery chain.
Matt Frey, a senior economics major at NKU, and his teammates focused on emerging diets within regions and recommended that the country’s largest traditional grocer focus on the variety and availability of vegan and vegetarian products in order to increase customer loyalty.
“We researched the purchasing habits of Kroger regarding these areas. From this, we identified which diets Kroger should invest more in. We also recommended which regions could use more investment than others,” Frey stated. “Overall, the competition was challenging and fun. I can't wait to come back next year and help as a graduate student."
The Econ Games was fostered by NKU students’ desire to have a rigorous economics competition for undergraduate students. With assistance from Dr. Abdullah Al-Bahrani, director of the CEE and associate professor of Economics, and Dr. Darshak Patel, director of UK’s Undergraduate Studies in Economics and Lecturer of Economics, the project was brought into reality.
“Econ Games is designed to help students learn about career opportunities and how economics is used in the business world. The success of the program is due to the partnerships we have developed with the University of Kentucky and our corporate sponsor, 84.51,” says Dr. Al-Bahrani. “This is an exciting way to engage students; we have had several other schools reach out to participate in next year’s event.”
All 30 students who competed in the event learned real-life applications of data and statistical methods, while building professional connections within the region. To learn more about NKU’s economics degrees and programs, visit the Haile/US Bank College of Business’ website.
About the Haile/US Bank College of Business: With more than 2,000 students, the Haile/US Bank College of Business’ goal is to educate and connect with the Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati business community by delivering globally relevant, innovative and sustainable programs and practices. The college offers 12 undergraduate degrees and three masters level programs.
About NKU: Founded in 1968, we are a growing metropolitan university of more than 14,000 students served by more than 2,000 faculty and staff on a thriving suburban campus near Cincinnati. Located in the quiet suburb of Highland Heights, Kentucky—just seven miles southeast of Cincinnati—we have become a leader in Greater Cincinnati and Kentucky by providing a private school education for a fraction of the cost. While we are one of the fastest growing universities in Kentucky, our professors still know our students' names. For more information, visit nku.edu.