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New Orleans Saints, Pelicans announce business analytics partnership with Freeman School of Business

Immersive semester-long project has students working side-by-side with Saints, Pelicans Business Analytics Department

Starting in January, the New Orleans Saints, Pelicans and the A. B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University began a semester-long project that introduced students pursuing a Master of Business Analytics at Tulane into real world projects and experiences that have helped the two sports organizations to apply findings from data to influence operational decisions.

Over the last five months, students from Tulane's Master of Business Analytics (MANA) program worked directly with the Saints and Pelicans Business Analytics Department to study their data and determine factors that influence attendance at Pelicans games. The students were tasked with finding the optimal dates and times to host games at the Smoothie King Center during the 2019-20 season. Implementation of these findings will positively influence ticket sales, attendance, and overall fan experience in the future. The analytics will be used by multiple departments to make fast-paced decisions as the Pelicans work with the NBA to solidify game date selections for upcoming seasons.

"We compete in a world where nearly everything can be measured and quantified," said Saints and Pelicans President Dennis Lauscha. "Over the past year, we have worked directly with students from the Freeman School to help understand, optimize and gather information that is usable and effective. This information has positively impacted our organization and given us the opportunity to make strategic decisions efficiently and accurately."

"Experiential learning opportunities like this are the hallmark of a Freeman education," said Ira Solomon, dean of the Freeman School. "It's yet another way to ensure that our students have the knowledge and skills they need to make an immediate impact in whatever field they choose."

Tulane's Master of Business Analytics (MANA) is a 10-month program that teaches students how to analyze complex sets of data in order to inform business decisions. Coursework emphasizes applicable skills and training in industry-standard analysis and visualization software; long-term projects working with real-world data and partnerships with industry leaders prepare graduates to add value in their future careers.

"We teach students the theory and practice of business analytics, but there's no substitute for working with real data," said Xianjun Geng, executive director of the Master of Business Analytics program. "By working with organizations like the Pelicans, students can put their skills to work on real-world challenges and gain the experience they need to hit the ground running in a variety of analytics roles."

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The A. B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University is a leading internationally recognized business school with more than 3,000 students in programs spanning the globe. With innovative curricula that combine outstanding classroom instruction with distinctive experiential learning opportunities, the Freeman School is dedicated to preparing current and future business leaders to contribute positively to their organizations and their communities. For more information visit

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