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Lichtendahl, Kenneth C. Jr.

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Ballis's Benchmark (A)

In this case series, Margaret Ballis, a soon-to-be Darden School of Business graduate, is about to begin her dream job at a leading investment management firm. On her way to becoming a fund manager, she cannot help wondering about her future success. Ballis is trying to assess her ability to consistently outperform the stock market; she questions whether it is even possible to achieve persistent p ...

Ballis's Benchmark (B)

In this case series, Margaret Ballis, a soon-to-be Darden School of Business graduate, is about to begin her dream job at a leading investment management firm. On her way to becoming a fund manager, she cannot help wondering about her future success. Ballis is trying to assess her ability to consistently outperform the stock market; she questions whether it is even possible to achieve persistent p ...

Eliciting and Evaluating Expert Forecasts

This note emphasizes the idea that managers will often want to ask experts to express their opinions about important business risks using the precise language of probability. Examples are drawn from the 2008 financial crisis and involve value-at-risk financial reporting. The second half of this note explains how a manager might use a scoring rule to evaluate the quality of experts' probability for ...

PriceMax

A large general-merchandise retailer misses its fiscal year earnings-per-share guidance, so its CFO is charged with improving the firm's forecasts. This case presents the use of probability distributions for forecasting discrete and continuous uncertainties such as GDP growth, inflation, and unemployment, including the benefit of ranges and distributions over point estimates. The Federal Reserve B ...

Scoring Expert Forecasts

This technical note, based on the more comprehensive note, "Eliciting and Evaluating Expert Forecasts" (UVA-QA-0734), provides a streamlined presentation of Brier and log scores as tools for assessing forecasting records among a pool of experts. The note is designed to be used in conjunction with a forecasting exercise. ...

Segmenting Clinton and Obama Voters

The purpose of this case is to introduce data visualization, advanced regression techniques, and supervised learning. Students are asked to visualize data geographically and in scatterplots. They will use stepwise regression and regression trees to select a predictive model for forecasting data in a holdout sample. In a forecasting competition, they will submit their models to be tested for accura ...

Yahoo's Acquisition of Tumblr

This case works well to provide experience with developing a revenue growth forecast using time series analysis. Students are asked to run several exponential smoothing models to predict the growth in a high-profile social network's traffic from three years of monthly history. The model students select is used to forecast a stream of future revenues in a pro forma cash flow statement. This case is ...

A/B Testing at Vungle

Two recently graduated MBA students are tasked with developing an ad-serving learning algorithm for a mobile ad-serving company. The case illustrates the way in which hypotheses can be tested in an A/B format or "horse race" in order to establish customer preferences and superior profitability. The case was written for a course elective covering hypothesis testing. ...

Airbus and Boeing: Superjumbo Decisions

Set in 1999, this case allows students to put themselves in the positions of both Airbus and Boeing as Boeing considered how to respond to Airbus's decision to announce its plans to proceed or not with the $10 billion development of the world's first commercial superjumbo jet, the Airbus A3XX. Boeing was considering a development effort to "stretch" its 747 jumbo jet into a larger superjumbo versi ...

Ocean's Dilemma

The case is intended for a class relatively early in a decision analysis or a risk analysis class module. The case can be used as the very first case in the course if students are familiar with the concepts of NPV. Alternatively, students can be given a short technical note on calculating NPV for cash flows as pedagogy for the case. The analysis requires use of NPV calculations to determine the ou ...

Opening Casino Jack

Temple Fennell, CEO of ATO Pictures, recalled the distribution of ATO's first U.S. film, Casino Jack, starring Kevin Spacey. He reflected on the red carpet thrills during the opening week in December 2010, and the excitement surrounding Spacey's Golden Globe nomination. At the same time, he was reminded of the challenging decisions he and his team had had to make regarding the film's advertising ...

SnackChips in China

This case is intended to work well as an exam or a capstone for a course on decision analysis, simulation, real options, and game theory. It explores a conventional snack-chip marketer's strategy in China for promoting and advertising a recently acquired healthy snack-chip brand in mid-2002. The marketer has some key decisions to make, now and in the future, about a range of marketing expenditures ...
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