A team of specialty master’s students won the $750 grand prize in the first Smith Analytics Consortium Datathon, a weeklong case competition ending March 29, 2019, at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.
Teams of undergraduate and graduate students started with raw data related to bikeshare services in Washington, D.C. Participants had to determine what information was relevant, fill gaps with their own supplemental sources, and present data-based business solutions to a panel of judges.
Overall, 18 teams entered the competition and five advanced to the final round. Winners included Xiao Xie, Wenyan Tuo, Qian Tang and Yu-Jung Lu from Smith’s Master of Science in Marketing Analytics program, and Yaqian Zhang from Smith’s Master of Science in Business Analytics program.
Tariq Haque, a Master of Science in Business Analytics student on the third-place team, said the competition allowed students to apply classroom learning to real-world problems. “In class, you typically know the objective,” he said. “But in the Datathon you are on your own. You have to build the storyline and communicate that idea.”
The final round of the event coincided with the Smith Analytics Consortium’s third annual thought leadership conference in College Park, Md. Judges were business leaders from the consortium.
Deloitte, a member of the consortium, led workshops earlier in March to help participants hone their public presentation skills.
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