Understanding the flow of graduate students from start to finish is very important for universities.  It is beneficial to have a high success rate not only for funding purposes but also because these programs are what make the universities more reputable.   The article Assessing the Progress and the Underlying Nature of the Flows of Doctoral and Master Degree Candidates Using Absorbing Markov Chains by Miles Nicholls (2007) discusses the flow

The National Football League (NFL) is a multi-billion dollar business whose goal is to satisfy its fans.  In order to achieve optimal satisfaction, the NFL adopted the sudden-death overtime period in 1974 because fans were not pleased with the conclusions of games ending in a tie.  Fans wanted a winner to be declared for each game and in hopes of fulfilling this request, NFL management implemented the sudden-death overtime system, which