In the past, Cornell Business Analytics has worked with a fashion startup, a Fortune 100 carmaker, a “leading American yogurt company” and even a department of the United States federal government, according to its website. But this month, the club is undertaking a new venture: matchmaking.
On Feb. 4, the business analytics consulting club launched “Perfect Match”, an online survey designed to find every Cornellian their very own on-campus soulmate. Participants answer a short quiz about personal information, preferences and personality and receive their statistically-guided “perfect match” on Feb. 12, just in time for Valentine’s Day.
The survey was a way for the club to “display their technical expertise” and become more present on Cornell’s campus, said Anvita Khosla ’19, co-founder of CBA.
“This is just one way we thought we could help out other people,” agreed Jeff Liu ’20, CBA president.
Participants are matched up based on their responses to two different types of questions. The first is Cornell-specific, such as their favorite date spot at Cornell and what people do on Friday nights. The club’s algorithm matches people with similar responses.
Perfect Match’s second part of the survey measures the Big Five personality traits: openness, conscientious, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism. “We found studies on compatibility that said that … certain traits go well together,” Liu said.
Cornell Business Analytics first prepared for Perfect Match by surveying 100 couples that club members personally knew, Khosla said. Those couples were asked an extended set of questions that were then narrowed down to questions that determined compatibility.
Perfect Match officially launched on Feb. 4, and the survey has received almost 2,000 responses.
“We were expecting maybe four, five hundred [responses] … but it took about three days for us to easily pass that number,” Liu told The Sun.
The club now hopes to get three or four times their initial goal. At present, the main problem isn’t a lack of responses, but who is — and who is not — responding.
“Surprisingly, we have more girls filling out the survey than guys,” Khosla said. “If we don’t find someone for [everyone], we’ll kind of push it past our deadline and only ask guys to fill it out or something like that.”
The survey is not limited to heterosexual matching. People have to option to list the gender they are romantically interested in. Either way, Khosla says that the club will try to ensure that everyone who signed up will receive a perfect match. In case the chemistry doesn’t flow right away, the club has potential plans to hold a special event for matched couples on Valentine’s Day.
Khosla says that a fear of issues with information privacy should not stop students from taking the survey.
“We’re taking all possible efforts to make sure the data is safe and that it’s separated from individuals’ names, their IDs and the actual information they’re giving. It’s all confidential,” Khosla told The Sun.
After their first run’s resounding success, the club hopes to run the survey again next year and maybe turn Perfect Match into an annual event, according to Liu.
The “Perfect Match” survey closes on Feb. 10.