Winners announced for 12th HKU Innovative Data Mining Application Awards sponsored by SAS

Twelfth Consecutive Year for HKU Master’s Students to use SAS® Software for Innovations

SAS, the leader in business analytics and services, and the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science of the University of Hong Kong, announced the winning teams of the HKU Innovative Data Mining Application Awards at a ceremony held at the University of Hong Kong. This is the twelfth consecutive year that SAS, the world’s largest privately owned software company, has sponsored the awards and provided data mining software to the University of Hong Kong to nurture the highest quality analytic talent for the analytics landscape of the future. 

This year, the Master’s students from the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science were again invited to participate in the HKU Innovative Data Mining Application Awards. The participating students utilized scientific analytical tools to correlate and analyze different data collected and submit proposals on how data can help address real-life challenges in such diverse areas as human resources management, psychology and Chinese medicine. 

The “Data-Driven Talent Retention Project” was the champion of the competition, applying data mining analysis relating to human resources management. It predicted attrition rates and identified top reasons for attrition so as to investigate turnover patterns. The team’s creativity in addressing such a down-to-earth business challenge was highly appreciated by the judges. The “How to Identify Emotions Through Facial Expression” project won the first-runner up position. This project is about big data mining relating to psychology, and classified collected facial images according to their pre-specified labels to investigate how this could contribute to medical imaging and facial detection.

The third prize winner was “All about Herbs – A Data-Mining Attempt to Understand Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)”. This aimed to verify if TCM prescriptions have any specific pattern in the selection of herbs. All of these winning projects clearly demonstrated the power of data analytics and provided new insights for decision-making in daily life phenomena from a data analytics perspective.

Wilson Ho, General Manager, SAS Hong Kong, said, “Business analytics and data mining are crucial in creating an effective, customizable, relevant and smart digital economy. SAS has proudly sponsored and supported the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science at the University of Hong Kong for twelve years. This year, we are very pleased to see students’ creativity spanning a wide range of real-life situations and utilizing the knowledge gained throughout their studies. The use of SAS advanced software in nurturing high quality professionals in the data analytics field, who will be the cornerstones of our future analytics-based society, has become vital in this digital era.”

Dr. Philip Yu, Associate Professor of the University of Hong Kong’s Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science, said at the ceremony, “We are delighted to see the results of our students’ hard work. They have demonstrated outstanding data analytical skills in addressing challenges in various daily life scenarios, turning the collected data into inspiring and valuable insights. The department is pleased that we share the common vision of education with SAS, and greatly appreciates SAS Hong Kong’s generous support of these course projects for the past twelve years.”

A longtime supporter of educational institutes, SAS offers a great opportunity for students to further enhance their analytic ability, especially in cultivating their career aspirations in business analytics and data mining. SAS has devoted substantial effort and resources to the education sector as a key focus of its Corporate Social Responsibilities program. Through this partnership, SAS introduced the SAS® Global Certification Program and the SAS® Academy for Data Science in Hong Kong. Trainees can earn respected credentials which are needed by data science professionals, while employers can easily compare the professional skills of different candidates in big data management, advanced analytics, machine learning and data visualization. The Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science of the University of Hong Kong has offered the Master of Statistics Program for Data Mining Techniques since 2003. Students are taught with real-life examples enabling them to apply acquired knowledge in the workplace, and also complete a group project using SAS tools. The HKU Innovative Data Mining Application Awards have recognized talented students' projects in the SAS® Enterprise Miner course since 2006. 

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