Key Social Issues Addressed Through Analytics at ASEAN Data Science Explorers National Finals


The ASEAN Foundation and SAP recently concluded the ASEAN Data Science Explorers (DSE) National Finals held at the University of Malaya. University students from all over Malaysia, who took part in the competition, were awarded the top three awards for their insights and innovative ideas addressing social and economic issues in the ASEAN region.

This is the second consecutive year that ASEAN DSE was organised across all 10 ASEAN member states as part of the strategic partnership between the ASEAN Foundation and SAP. First introduced in 2017, the ASEAN Data Science Explorers (ADSE) is a data analytics competition that aims to enhance awareness and appreciation of the ASEAN community amongst young people through digital literacy intervention. By using the SAP Analytics Cloud, participants are encouraged to deliver data-driven insights which highlight issues in ASEAN across six United Nation Sustainable Development Goals, namely (1) good health and well-being, (2) quality education, (3) gender equality, (4) decent work and economic growth, (5) industry, innovation & infrastructure and (6) sustainable cities and communities.

Titled “Today’s Youth for Tomorrow’s World”, this competition lets youths from ASEAN member countries play a key role in tackling today’s social issues in the region and help create positive change for a better future.

Team My_innovAsean from Monash University Malaysia emerged as the champion at the National Finals. Meanwhile, the first runner-up position was awarded to Team The Modellers from Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, and the second runner-up was given to Team Tech Rangers from Asia Pacific University, Malaysia.

“This competition is a great initiative to obtain insights from young talents to address the issues that ASEAN have been facing through data driven approach. We personally believe this is not just about winning the competition, but it is a platform for us to add value to the society. We hope that the recommendations will be taken in consideration in bringing ASEAN to the next step of growth and evolution,” said Lee Kok Fung and Verika Sylvia Limberta from the winning team.

“To solve complex problems such the UN SDGs, our youths need to be familiar with the latest technology to uncover fresh solutions for current and future problems. The ASEAN Data Science Explorers (ADSE) is the very first step for Malaysian youths to work towards resolving the world’s problems by using real quantifiable data and analytics,” said SAP Malaysia Managing Director Duncan Williamson.

“Being one of the world’s leading software and analytics enterprises with 404,000 customers around the globe, SAP is committed to its higher purpose – to help the world run better and improve people’s lives. We are proud to collaborate with the ASEAN Foundation on this important initiative to prepare our youths for the digital economy”

Students who registered for the program earlier in the year gained access to ASEAN datasets as well as the SAP Analytics Cloud platform, which lets them analyze the data and derive insights. The SAP Analytics Cloud is a new generation software as a service (SaaS) that redefines analytics in the cloud by providing business intelligence (BI), predictive, and planning capabilities all within one tool. Using this cloud platform, the participants could analyze and visualize data to come up with their innovative recommendations.

The assessment was based on three criteria: the relevance and credibility of data, the quality of analytical insights, and the feasibility of recommended solutions to the problems addressed by each project. Out of 10 finalists, the first place winner will proceed to the Regional Finals happening on 25 October 2018 in Singapore, where they will face the top winners from other National Finals rounds.

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