June 03, 2019
Talent Meets Opportunity
By Amanda S.F. Hartle
Imagine you're an executive at a global corporation making purchasing decisions on a vast array of retail, industrial, apartment and office properties in cities all around the world. The correct metropolitan area or a well-timed decision could have positive financial or quality-of-life implications for your customers and investors.
This year, Principal Financial Group partnered with students in Carnegie Mellon University's Department of Statistics and Data Science to take the guesswork out of commercial real estate decisions. The result was a statistical model that combines real estate returns with accurate predictions in diverse markets across different property types.
Principal supports Carnegie Mellon's undergraduate and graduate research programs, and as a first-time corporate partner, the company also is the first to support concurrent student projects in one semester across three of CMU's colleges – Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Tepper School of Business and Heinz College.
“When it comes to cross-campus collaboration, Carnegie Mellon University puts it to practice, and it's immensely powerful,” says Joseph Byrum, Principal's chief data scientist. “CMU is one of the only places I can walk into, and immediately, there is university collaboration” across disciplines, departments and colleges.