Master of Business Analytics applied projects

Our Master of Business Analytics programme includes a ten-week applied project that provides New Zealand organisations with an excellent opportunity to tap into the academic and professional skills of our masters’ students.

Business students looking at a laptop, gesturing with their hands

Using robust research from the organisation's own data, students investigate an organisation's issue that relates to business analytics, developing strategies and recommendations that are compiled into a final report and presentation.  

About our Master of Business Analytics students

This programme attracts well-qualified, highly motivated graduate students. Many of them have graduated in areas other than Business, such as Economics, Engineering, Social Sciences, Sciences and Technology. Some have several years of work experience, and many speak multiple languages.

What do Master of Business Analytics students study?

This 15-month masters programme is designed for graduates who are looking to enhance their career opportunities. Students complete the course over 15 months (full-time), or can opt to study part-time.

Master of Business Analytics students undertake six core courses addressing data sources for the formulation of business strategies and the analytics required to inform data-based decision-making. Topics include business analytics and information management tools, machine learning, predictive analytics, and decision-making and optimisation.

Students develop a strong portfolio of professional skills that enables them to communicate effectively to a non-technical audience through data visualisation tools and storytelling.

Students learn and use Python, R and SQL throughout their study, as well as MS Excel, MS Project, SPSS and Power BI.

Students specialise in either Marketing, Supply Chain Management or FinTech to enhance and develop their skills set in a disciplinary context.


Marketing students study customer and market insights and digital marketing and analytics. Students in the Marketing specialisation will be ready to pursue a career as consultant, customer insights officer, database analyst or business insights executive amongst other potential roles.

Supply Chain Management

Supply Chain Management students study supply chain optimisation and analytics. Students specialising in Supply Chain Management will be ready to pursue a career as supply chain business analyst, consultant, forecast analyst, optimisation executive or business insights executive amongst other potential roles.


FinTech students’ study FinTech business cases and acquire machine learning tools to solve real-world problems in the finance industry. For example, financial projections, bankruptcy and credit card default prediction, fraud detection, machine valuation and portfolio optimisation. Students in the FinTech specialisation will be ready to pursue a career as business analysts in accounting firms, buy-side fund managers, investment banks, consulting firms, start-ups, non-profit organisations, and regulators.

How does the applied business analytics project work?

In the final quarter of their 15-month programme, students work on a supervised, applied business analytics project with a local organisation:

  1. The organisation identifies their project topic with the outcomes they want for the organisation. Project topics must have a business analytics focus. This is developed in consultation with academic staff to ensure the topic aligns with students’ past and current course work, experience, and skills.
  2. Students work within a team of 4-5 students. These teams are formed at the University prior to students’ engagement with partner organisations.
  3. Student teams will be matched to an organisation based on the organisation’s and students’ voiced preferences. This may take place in form of a networking event.
  4. Students spend time working with the organisation over eight weeks of the ten-week course. During this period, teams will have weekly meetings (online or onsite) with their key contact at the partner organisation. One person per team will liaise with the key contact should any questions arise outside of the regular meeting times.
  5. The student teams examine analytics data and recommend relevant strategies and actions to help the organisation move forward.
  6. Student teams will create a joint document that includes the analysis of the data (joint appendix). Students will also individually write up their findings in a report of 5,000 to 6,000 words. Reports are also delivered orally in individual student presentations to both organisation representatives and academic staff at the end of the ten-week quarter.

What makes a good project?

The project idea needs to align with the students’ academic study in business analytics.

Project examples – Marketing

Project examples – Supply Chain

Project examples –  FinTech

About the host organisation

Ideally, organisations hosting students should be located in Auckland and have access to sufficient data for students to work with.

If you would like to participate and your organisation works remotely or your office is based outside of Auckland, this will also be able to be accommodated, i.e., via remote access and virtual meetings.

What does the host organisation do?

  • Provide a data set for student teams to work with. The data is needed before the project’s start.
  • Ensure there is a suitable key contact for the student and administrative support to ensure that the placement is a mutually beneficial and a pleasant experience. Students expect to work independently; however, receiving mentoring from a person in business can greatly enrich a student’s learning. The organisation is not required to constantly engage with the University during the project period.
  • Appoint a dedicated and supportive person to be available to the student during the project: to answer questions and provide key information.
  • If student teams are expected to work onsite, enough space should be provided to a team of 4-5 students. Students typically have their own devices, such as laptops and phones, but can also work with devices that are provided from the organisation if this is desirable from the perspective of the organisation. Options for remote work are also possible.
  • All organisations participating must comply with health and safety legislation and safe work practices.

What is the cost for the host organisation?

The business analytics project period is unpaid. However, the host organisation is expected to cover all work-related (incidental) expenses associated with the project placement, including assisting with the student’s transport costs, especially if the workplace is out of central Auckland.

What does the student do at the host organisation?

Student teams will analyse the provided data set over the first weeks of the quarter. This can be undertaken at the organisation’s premises or remotely. Access to the data needs to be provided. The University ensures data confidentiality via a rigorous ethics approval process. However, most organisation additionally ensure this through the use of company, or project, specific NDAs.

What are the benefits for the host organisation?

After hosting a student team for an eight-week period, you will be invited to an oral presentation where the students will individually present their key research findings and recommendations to you and a small team of academic staff.

You will also receive a confidential report of each student team member’s findings. The joint appendix, individual reports and presentations aim to provide your organisation with insightful research, plus recommendations that are both academically sound and practically relevant.

In addition, the host organisation will have:

  • Access to potential new employees.
  • An opportunity to access additional skills and knowledge for a specific project.
  • Fresh perspectives on business analytics projects.
  • Enriched links with the University of Auckland Business School and the Graduate School of Management.

What are the benefits for the student?

These applied projects provide a unique opportunity for Master of Business Analytics students to:

  • Apply new skills and capabilities gained through study in a work environment.
  • Build connections.
  • Gain exposure to new and exciting challenges in the field of business analytics, aligned to career aspirations.
  • Prepare for the transition from academic study to the world of work.
  • In some cases, to be successfully employed by their host organisation after the project.


  • The Applied Project course is run in 2024: 1 April - 5 June 2024.
  • The course runs over a ten-week period; the student teams work with the organisation across a maximum of eight weeks.

Expression of interest

We are always looking for industry-based project ideas within Business, Science and Engineering schools. However, we are happy to have a conversation with you about other project ideas which may not meet the scope above. If you are interested in hosting a Master of Business Analytics student, please complete the form below.