SAS® Analytics wizardry helps University of Central Florida students win 2012 Data Mining Shootout

Oklahoma State University and second UCF team round out top three

A student team from the University of Central Florida (UCF) took gold in the national 2012 SAS Data Mining Shootout, sponsored by Teradata Corporation. The winning analytic solution to the health care challenge earned UCF a $5,000 donation from SAS.

In the sixth annual Data Mining Shootout, facilitated by The Institute for Health and Business Insight, faculty and students showcased data mining skills in solving a hypothetical, but common, business problem. Armed with SAS® Analytics, competitors were challenged to design a program to produce and distribute vaccines to minimize health impact during influenza season. The top three teams modeled simultaneous outbreaks of flu across four states. Teams were provided relevant data and instructed to implement appropriate data mining methods using SAS software.

"As any recent graduate can attest, it's a competitive job market out there. The Data Mining Shootout allows students to demonstrate their advanced analytical skills at the largest data mining conference in the world,"
said Jerry Oglesby, PhD, SAS Director of Higher Education Consulting and Global Certification, and co-chair of Analytics 2012.

The winning UCF team, sponsored by Dr. Morgan Wang, included Jianbin Zhu, Ruizhe Wang, Hong Zhang, Yue Zhou and Yuting Song. After receiving the award check from Bill Franks, Chief Analytics Officer for Global Alliance Programs at Teradata, the team earned honorary Analytic Hero sidekick status in the SAS and Teradata League of Analytic Heroes. The students also received memberships to the International Institute for Analytics.

"It is always great to see new talent being developed for the world of analytics," said Franks. "All of the teams did an outstanding job in the shootout, and UCF will make great Analytic Hero sidekicks – preparing them to become full-fledged Analytic Heroes in the future." Franks is a faculty member at the International Institute for Analytics and author of Taming the Big Data Tidal Wave; he is also known as Dr. Insight, the leader of the League of Analytic Heroes.

Oklahoma State University took second place and a second UCF team rounded out the top three; the winners were announced at the Analytics 2012 data mining conference in Las Vegas. Each team was represented at the event by one student team member and the faculty sponsor. The second and third place schools also received a monetary donation from SAS. All three teams presented their winning solutions at the event.

The 2012 SAS Data Mining Shootout problem statement was posted to all US universities in February, with solutions due by July. Entries were judged on the judges’ ability to replicate the analysis using each team’s code, data preparation, model selection, global plan methodology and response plan generation, as well as on the model’s ability to react to change and to propose alternatives. The teams were also judged on the quality of the submitted report detailing the results.     

The SAS Data Mining Shootout, launched in 2006, has gained in popularity each year. More than 50 teams competed this year.

About Teradata

Teradata Corporation (NYSE: TDC) is the world's leading analytic data solutions company focused on integrated data warehousing, big data analytics, and business applications. Teradata's innovative products and services deliver data integration and business insight to empower organizations to make the best possible decisions and achieve competitive advantage. Visit teradata.com for details.

Teradata is a trademark or registered trademark of Teradata Corporation in the United States and other countries

About SAS

SAS is the leader in business analytics software and services, and the largest independent vendor in the business intelligence market. Through innovative solutions, SAS helps customers at more than 70,000 sites improve performance and deliver value by making better decisions faster. Since 1976 SAS has been giving customers around the world THE POWER TO KNOW® .

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