Biz Alumni 21 December 2017

Business analytics alumni win big at the 2017 CIKM AnalytiCup

Our Master of Science, Business Analytics (MSBA) alumni have achieved outstanding results in the CIKM AnalytiCup 2017, having emerged the champions in the competitions.

Samarth Agarwal and Akshay Bhonde from AY2015/16 won first prize in the Lazada Product Title Quality Challenges from over 6,000 submissions, having developed a multi-layer modelling stacking framework to grade the clarity and conciseness of a product title.

From left: Akshay Bhonde and Samarth Agarwal

Neil Yang Yubo, Li Zhijun, Sylvia Liaw and Takanori Aoki from AY2016/17 also clinched the 1st prize in the DHL Temperature-Controlled Supply Chain Hackathon Challenge, having devised a practical risk analysis solution to categorise the risk level of delivery routes.

From left: Neil, Zhijun, Slyvia and Takanori

Both teams attributed their wins to the experience and knowledge gained during the MSBA programme. Having honed their business acumen and technical skills in analytics, the teams tackled the task by first understanding the challenges from a business perspective rather than diving straight into the algorithms and technicalities. This led them to devise solutions that were simple and practical enough to implement, yet nevertheless innovative in terms of feature engineering. Neil, who was part of the winning team for the DHL Hackathon Challenge, mentioned that his capstone engagement has boost his domain knowledge in the logistic and supply chain industry, thus giving the team an edge over the rest.

When asked to impart advice to current and future MSBA students, Samarth and Akshay strongly urged them to participate in as many hackathons as they could. Not only do they allow students to apply classroom knowledge to real-life problems, they also provide opportunities to learn from data scientists worldwide. As Samarth said, “Don’t just keep yourself limited to the coursework. Participate actively and look at what is happening in the real world.”

Team-formation wise, Neil, Zhijun, Sylvia and Takanori emphasised on the importance of diversity within a team. Sylvia said, ““With diversity, you will have different skills to ledge on, and different backgrounds and experiences to approach the problem from different perspectives.”

Congratulations to both teams again for the amazing feat and for doing us proud!

The CIKM AnalytiCup 2017 is a competition organised by ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM) to identify challenging problems facing the creation of advanced knowledge and information systems, and to provide insightful solution approaches to those problems.

For more information on the Master of Science, Business Analytics programme, please visit