Economist rethinking pricing for a SaaS company - Propheto Case Study

Published: January 9, 2021


Jay was at a crossroads; stay in academia or move into industry? After years of focus on his PhD in economics, he felt uneasy about the prospect of focusing his life on research. He wanted to apply his skills to more immediate problems and make a near-term, tangible impact. He knew his training in statistics coupled with his technical abilities in R and Python were highly coveted in industry. He just didn’t know how to find the right opportunities.

After hearing about Propheto from his brother, Jay was interested:

"I was intrigued by the idea of being able to get some real-world work experience during my graduate studies, using the skills that I acquired through my research."

For Jay, Propheto was a gateway to all the opportunities he was seeking. Soon after signing up Jay had the opportunity to explore multiple project opportunities:

"I have benefited from the myriad projects available on the platform. I have been able to consider multiple projects before deciding which to take."

After sifting through opportunities, Jay was notified of a project from a well-known analytics software company that needed help restructuring their pricing. The company observed that there was consistently a difference between the sticker and selling prices for products. This also varied by product segment and multiple customer attributes. With his background in economics, strong statistics skills, and an interest in the problem, Jay felt this was the right project for him.

"I was interested in this project because [I would be] working on a complex problem that was totally separate from my research. I would be forced to navigate a different sort of ambiguity than the kind I encountered in my research. While working on this project, I could exercise a new part of my brain using the same skills that I committed to my research."

Given his strong background and interest in the problem, Jay was matched with the customer for the project. Very quickly he found himself working with multiple teams in the company including business intelligence, product, and data science. It was very clear his work was having a meaningful impact.

Propheto has helped Jay sharpen his data science abilities while earning above what he would be earning as a TA or RA. In addition, he was exposed to a new problems:

"This project is benefiting me by allowing me to refine my data science skill set using a context different from my research. I am getting to work on really interesting problems. Plus, the wage is competitive with other opportunities I would consider."

For Jay, even if he chooses to remain in academia, working on an industry project was still beneficial.

"Working with Propheto gives me the opportunity to expand my knowledge and experience outside of academia. Otherwise, I would not have the ability to see what data scientists actually do. Even if I remain in academia, it is a valuable way to see how work is conducted in industry."

He also could only gain this industry experience because of the flexibility of Propheto’s on-demand projects:

"Additionally, the fact that the engagements only last a few months means that I can manage the project and my research without having to sacrifice a lot of time towards working for the company. I can come do a project over a semester and know that it won't overshadow my research work."