OSU MS BAnDS students earn first place at the University of South Carolina’s National Big Data Health Science Conference
Friday, February 11, 2022
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A group of Oklahoma State University business analytics students placed first out of 16 teams at the Big Data Case Competition Feb. 4-6 prior to the University of South Carolina’s National Big Data Health Science Conference.
Max Griffin, Abbas Kalbe Agharia, Sristhi Srivastava and Kalpesh Mulye — master’s students in the business analytics and data science program — competed virtually and were one of six teams advancing to the finals, eventually earning first place and the $4,000 prize that came with it.
“This competition verged on cruel and unusual punishment but winning was gratifying and a reflection of our extreme efforts,” Griffin said. “It’s an honor to be part of the first team from our program to win such a prestigious and difficult competition. Thank you to my teammates Kalbe, Srishti and Kalpesh, whose work was incredible even in the extreme conditions we faced on night two, when none of us had slept any significant amount since Friday morning.”
The South Carolina competition provides teams of graduate and senior undergraduate students the opportunity to apply their knowledge to the analysis of big data sets in healthcare. Participating team are given the same business problem, data sets and access to software to solve a challenging program using a data analytics approach.
“The competition was time sensitive hence we had to be careful in what kind of problems we want to dedicate our time and energy to,” said Agharia. “This is very similar to real life scenarios where the c-suite might want an urgent analysis on a time sensitive problem. This helped us to focus our business problem and helped the team create a concrete plan. Our team worked incredibly well in the sense we each knew our strengths and dedicated our energy in an efficient and synergic manner. I think that is what set us apart from the other teams.”
A panel of industry and academic experts judge the presentations based on the team’s use of the full analytics process, from framing the problem to methodology selection, data use, model building and innovation.
“I am delighted that our team won this prestigious competition by placing ahead of teams from schools such as Yale, Connecticut and many others,” said Dr. Goutam Chakraborty, SAS Professor of Marketing Analytics and director of the MS in Business Analytics and Data Science program. “This is one of the best validations of the strength and capabilities of our programs and the credit goes to the hard-working students and all of the dedicated faculty who have prepared them to perform well in such types of national events.”