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​Tackling real-world data

Published on: 30-Jul-2018

Team =Max4D, the overall winning team of this year’s ‘BC3406 Business Analytics Consulting: Data Hackathon’, finds the analytics modules at NBS useful. They find themselves more competent in handling data and applying analytical techniques. 

Even before graduation, third-year NBS undergraduates Adrian Tan, Michael Utama and Aneri Shah from the Bachelor of Business (Business Analytics) programme, have secured full-time jobs in the analytics field. 

The three of them, along with their teammate Wang Xingyue (Yr 3, BCG), was the winning team of the second edition of ‘BC3406 Business Analytics Consulting: Data Hackathon’ that took place in April. 

As part of the BC3406 Business Analytics Consulting module, they were required to go through a data hackathon that utilised analytical tools such as market basket analysis, predictive modelling, and spatial analytics to provide business insights.

Adrian said, “For this year, we got the chance to work with Paula’s Choice, a globally-recognised expert in skincare products, as our client. They gave a data hackathon case brief on what they were looking out for, as well as how the analyses could help them.”

In preparation for the hackathon, the students were taught how to use the analytics engine by SAS, a world leader in analytics.

“They are really patient and taught us how to use their cloud-enabled, in-memory analytics engine,” Adrian added. 

Even though Adrian and his team members were not close when they first started on this module, they managed to get along quite well. 

Adrian said, “Some of us have very strong knowledge in analytical techniques while some are better at presenting ideas in a concise manner.”

“In fact, we did not really meet a lot but we made every meeting count. We agreed on things and respected everyone’s opinions. I guess that was a success formula for us,” Adrian added. 

Adrian (right), who is passionate about data and analytics, will soon be working at JP Morgan as an operations analyst.

However, they felt that making sense of all the data can be unstructured. They also struggled initially because they were not able to get the business statement right. 

Michael said, “It requires a lot of brainstorming, research and discussion. It took us a lot of time before we finally agreed on what the business statement should be.”

Apart from technical knowledge, the team felt that the analytics modules have equipped them with the knowledge and confidence to tackle real-world data which the corporate sector has for them. They would also like to show their gratitude to their mentor, Assoc Prof Damien Joseph.

Adrian said, “Prof Damien has taught us how to think out of the box and to be client-focused. He never fails to remind us of the importance of relating to the business problems, as well as imparting analytical techniques for us to present our ideas more effectively.”

Students taking the BC3406 module were required to pull together expertise and knowledge as a team in order to deliver valuable insights to the client, Paula’s Choice.

When asked if they could only use one word to describe the data hackathon experience, Aneri said, “Conclusive. It’s a perfect capstone module that concluded all that we have learnt in the past three years.” 

“I would say it’s wholesome. This data hackathon taps on the knowledge and skills that we have acquired from modules throughout our business analytics specialisation,” Adrian added. 

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