Following the completion of the ASEAN Data Science Explorers Malaysia national finals, six local students were awarded with the top three awards for their insights and ideas on driving a sustainable future for ASEAN. The six students, who represented three teams comprising two students each, were among the top 10 teams who were selected to pitch their ideas in the national finals, held at the Asia Pacific University on October 31.
The competition, which is co-organized by the ASEAN Foundation and multinational software company SAP, is aimed at promoting awareness and appreciation of the ASEAN community amongst young people through digital literacy. Students who registered for the program earlier in 2017 were given access to ASEAN data as well as SAP Analytics Cloud platform, which allowed them to better analyze the data and derive meaningful insights. The initiative encourages participants 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) clean water and sanitation, (5) decent work and economic growth, and (6) sustainable cities and communities.
“This is the inaugural year in which we are conducting this competition, in partnership with SAP, and we are pleased to see high rates of registrations and submissions of ideas from students in Malaysia. Following a stringent judging process, both the ASEAN Foundation and SAP selected the top 10 teams from Malaysia to present at the national finals held today. Many of the ideas proposed to us today were interesting and insightful, and I hope that these youths will continue to develop their passion and ideas to drive the ASEAN Community towards a sustainable future together,” said Elaine Tan, Executive Director of the ASEAN Foundation.
Team ‘ASEANalysts’, comprising of participants Thean Su Mei and Wong Feng Ming from Monash University Malaysia, came in first among the top three teams in the Malaysian national finals with their idea on improving primary education. The first runner up was team ‘’Hypervisor” from Universiti Sains Malaysia and the second runner up was team “Curiousity” from Universiti Teknologi Mara.
“The ASEAN Data Science Explorers competition provides a platform for our Malaysian young talents to actively participate in shaping a sustainable future for the ASEAN community. It was great to see how students leveraged the SAP Analytics Cloud tool to make sense of data that they found pertaining issues around the six UN Sustainable Development Goals. While this is the first year of the programme, we are just touching the surface and I hope this competition will encourage Malaysian students to explore resources available to them and continue to develop their ideas further,” said Terrence Yong, Managing Director, SAP Malaysia. “With digitization increasingly being the lynchpin to ASEAN economies, governments and businesses should work together to impart digital skills and training to the young. SAP is investing efforts towards driving the needle in this area and we hope to work with the ecosystem to prepare the workforce of the future.”
Thean and Wong will represent Malaysia in the ASEAN Data Science Explorers Regional Face-Off in Jakarta in late November, where they will compete with the national winners from the other nine ASEAN member states.