15 November 2019 – Second-year Business Analytics students Aw Xin Min and Sean Lee won first place and a cash prize of S$2,000 at the Edelman Predictive Intelligence Centre (EPIC) Data Challenge, held from 15 October to 6 November 2019.

Twenty five teams competed in this challenge, comprised of over a hundred participants from National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore Management University (SMU), Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS), Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) and Imperial College London. Only five teams advanced to the finals. The winning team, Regional Flyer, included members from NUS (Xin Min & Sean), SMU and NTU.

EPIC conducts research in communications planning using predictive and intelligent technologies and this data challenge centred on the study of digital news patterns. Teams were tasked to help businesses make better decisions when responding to digital crises, by supplying insights on the characteristics of content propagation.

“The competition was about leveraging on data analysis techniques to help a hypothetical client better manage their future digital crises using historical data. We worked on open-source news articles and historical Twitter data about the client and analysed the kinds of content that are shared, the individuals and publications doing the sharing, and how this information was spread. With the insights derived, we devised reputation management strategies to better prepare our clients for future digital crises,” said Xin Min, explaining how the team tackled the problem.

The judges were impressed with the team’s comprehensive evaluation of different approaches and said that the team demonstrated a solid understanding of the problem and its relevance in the larger context of the overall business.

In describing the overall experience and their unexpected win, Sean said, “It was a pleasant surprise as we felt that our competitors were really strong, and we did not enter the competition with expectations of winning. Also, as this was the first case competition for us, we merely wanted the experience, so the win was the cherry on top.”