Analytics Accelerator Case Study

Data Can Lead to More Smiles


Align Technology is a global medical device company known for its industry leading Invisalign™ system, iTero™ intraoral screeners and digital services, and exocad ™ CAD/CAM software.   The company partnered with Wharton AI & Analytics for Business (AIAB) and Wharton Analytics Fellows (WAF) to understand the performance of its marketing campaigns and to predict which mix of outreach would lead to the most sales with dental labs, general practitioners, and orthodontists. The Wharton students narrowed the project to the following key goals:

To understand Align’s marketing campaign performance on sales for different types of  customers in the dental industry.

To provide Align with data observations and actionable recommendations.


To understand how Align’s marketing campaigns worked on different segments of the dental industry, the students took a deep dive into data for both sales and digital assets, such as emails, social media, and sales calls. They analyzed the customer segmentation and sales success rate in the salesforce data at each conversion step. The students also studied volumes and trends in digital assets and the correlation and text insights with natural language processing (NLP) and visualization.

Linking time series analysis with the campaign timeline, the student team worked to determine which method worked best with which segment of customers, and the team approached the data with comparative date trends across digital assets.

The student team also used clustering for customer archetypes, which show a homogeneous data set, while their attempt to use machine learning techniques for predictive modeling was inconclusive.

From their modeling, students assessed several touch-points along Align Technology’s sales funnel, including outbound calls, emails, webinars, demos, and digital assets to determine efficiencies at each step of the  cycle.

Key Takeaways

The team provided instrumental insights on specific marketing and sales initiatives that are the most effective in generating leads and conversions among different customer segments.  Importantly, the team also made specific recommendations to leverage third party tools in order to improve the tracing of engaged leads, qualifying those leads, and their subsequent engagement for a sales conversion.

About the Analytics Accelerator

Every fall and spring semester, Analytics at Wharton hosts the Analytics Accelerator, an experiential learning program that pairs students with a company to solve a real-world business problem using the company’s actual datasets and the latest techniques including machine learning and AI.

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