April 21, 2021Print | PDF
For this year’s Lazaridis School of Business and Economics CaseDebug Competition, held virtually March 26 and 27, 20 teams of first- and second-year Business Technology Management (BTM) students put their heads together to solve some of the real-world challenges faced by American video game company Electronics Arts (EA), including cheating, video game addiction, toxic behaviour online and losing customers to other platforms.
Wilfrid Laurier University BTM students were given 24 hours to research the problems, brainstorm solutions and prepare 15-minute presentations. They were judged by seven faculty members and five alumni based on their understanding of the problems and their proposed solutions, but also their presentation skills, teamwork, professionalism and ability to respond to questions after the presentation.
Teams approached the problems in a variety of different ways, including by leveraging big data and emerging technologies.
“I was completely amazed, particularly by the depth of analysis and novel responses, with just 24 hours to build the solution,” says Josephine McMurray, associate professor in the Business Technology Management program, and faculty coordinator for the competition and the case@BTM program. “Many of the slide presentations were incredibly professional, and they showed a sophisticated understanding of the issue that EA was trying to solve.”
One team from each year was chosen as the winners. The winning first-year team was team SHARE: Aryanna D’Addio, Srichakra Kovirineni, Runling Qi and Harrison Querney. The winning second-year team was team Diamond Data: Meet Joshi, Michael Leung, Hanalee Marcinko and Patrick Rocchio. The best presenters in each year, Riley Kesner and Harrison Querney, were also recognized.
The competition was judged by alumni Simran Hayer (BTM ’18), Darren Myher (BBA ’96), Mathieu Petrie (BTM ’15) and Matthew Raines (BTM ’18); faculty members Rima Khatib, Oliver Masakure, Rosemary McGowan, Patricia McLaren, Akbar Syed, Mir Tabatabaeilotfi and Sowmya Vishwanatha; and fourth-year student Cassandra Pike.
The competition was limited to students in two Business Technology Management courses: first-year Introduction to Strategic Management and Decision-Making and second-year Business Intelligence and Data Visualization. First-year teams made use of the strategy theory and basic case analysis skills they had learned in class while second-year teams demonstrated their understanding of data analytics and newfound data visualization skills. Teams were randomly assigned a week in advance of the competition.
Though running the CaseDebug competition was particularly challenging this year, as it was run virtually for the first time, it was made easier by a student coordinator, Logan Reese, and six student volunteers, who helped with everything from setting up Zoom breakout rooms to explaining the rules.
The CaseDebug competition began in 2016 as part of the case@BTM program, which offers case-based learning and skill development workshops, as well as case competitions, for Business Technology Management students looking for more opportunities to hone their skills. Case@BTM also has a travel team of students who represent the Lazaridis School at competitions hosted by universities across Canada.