Melbourne Business School News Melbourne Business Analytics Datathon finalists announced

Melbourne Business Analytics Datathon finalists announced

An expert panel of judges have announced the six teams that will battle it out next Thursday at the Melbourne Business Analytics Conference Datathon for $25,000 in prize money.

Melbourne Business Analytics Conference

Judges from SAS, Data Republic and Melbourne Business School reviewed submissions from more than 60 teams who entered the Datathon on 1-2 July, and commented on the very high quality of the submissions. The SAS and Data Republic judges made the final decision on the student-only finalists to avoid any risk of conflict of interest.

The Open Finalist teams are:

  • Team Suncorp
  • BCG
  • Team Liberty
  • Ordinary Least Squired (representatives from EYC3, Quantium, and Forethought)

Student-only Finalist teams are:

Deep Thinking, a group of four University of Melbourne and one RMIT PhD students
95% NOT CONFIDENT, a team of five Melbourne Business School Master of Business Analytics students.
Special commendations from the judges went to the Learn Imagine Decide team, as well as the student-only team Artificial Intelligence.

The six finalists will make their final pitches, proposing innovative data solutions to improve health and productivity in Victoria, at the Melbourne Business Analytics Conference Thursday, 13 July.

Melbourne Business School Centre for Business Analytics Executive Director Mark Alexander said a panel of experts, including representatives from the Victorian Government, SAS, Data Republic and Melbourne Business School, will judge the final submissions, with a focus on submissions that effectively communicate valuable and actionable insights to influence decision making.

“In presenting their cases to an audience of senior executives, professionals and academics, the finalists will show how advanced analytics can solve high-impact business problems and transform decision making,” Mr Alexander said.

In a first for Australia, teams were given access to major private and public sector datasets, including anonymous, aggregated data from Westpac, Qantas, grocer IGA and Victorian Government health records.

Event sponsor SAS gave the 60+ teams who started in the Datathon on 1–2 July access to its Viya advanced analytics platform, while Amazon Web Services donated cloud credits.

Mr Alexander said the high-calibre of the entries and the opportunity to present at the conference would demonstrate how businesses and government can solve real problems by applying analytics to never-before-combined datasets.

“Our vision is to ‘Transform decision making through business analytics’,” Mr Alexander said.
“The Datathon is the perfect vehicle to showcase what is possible through advanced analytics as the final pitches take place in front of 350-400 of Australia’s top corporates during the finale of our prestigious Melbourne Business Analytics Conference.

“We have partnered with the Victorian Government and world-class brands such as SAS, AWS and Data Republic to deliver a premium event, attracting Australia’s top analytics talent to solve a very real business problem by applying analytics to never-before-combined disparate data sets.” 

Vice President of SAS Australia and New Zealand David Bowie said the company was pleased to support the Datathon.

“SAS already collaborates with MBS’ world class research into advanced analytics for business, and to support the School’s Master of Business Analytics degree program,” Mr Bowie said.

“Use of the Viya open platform is particularly appropriate for the Datathon because it will enable teams to use the tools of their choice, without constraint, and share their analytics efforts for optimum productivity.” 
Data Republic co-founder and CEO Paul McCarney said he was delighted to be partnering with Melbourne Business School’s Centre for Business Analytics.

“This is the first event of its kind to open up so many rich private sector datasets for Datathon participants and combine them with open government data to really innovate on challenge concepts,” Mr McCarney said.

“Data innovation in Australia is something we’re very passionate about at Data Republic, so I’m pleased our platform is being leveraged to provide secure, privacy compliant data access to these teams.”  

Visit the Melbourne Business Analytics Conference website to find out more.