COVID relief innovation takes 2022 SAS Hackathon crown

Team JAKSTAT uses analytics and machine learning to allot government aid to Jakarta’s small businesses

It’s a conundrum faced by governments worldwide amid COVID-19 economic turbulence: how to distribute relief funds for maximum impact. During the month-long 2022 SAS Hackathon, a team of Indonesian data scientists and technology enthusiasts developed a solution now being implemented in Jakarta. Team JAKSTAT’s platform, powered by machine learning, optimizes relief distribution to the region’s millions of the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that drive Indonesia’s economy.

“Optimizing the allocation of COVID relief is a challenge faced the world over,” said Einar Halvorsen, Global Hackathon Lead at SAS. “JAKSTAT’s hack isn’t just an impressive work of innovation in and of itself; it sparks innovation amongst Jakarta’s entrepreneurs and advances economic resiliency for the entire country. We’re thrilled to recognize JAKSTAT as the overall winner of the SAS Hackathon.”

SAS declared JAKSTAT’s victory at the opening of AI and analytics conference SAS Explore 2022. The free, virtual event for data and analytics practitioners of all skill levels runs Sept. 27-29.

SAS Hackathon inspires innovation

Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest economy, entered an even graver recession than expected in 2020. From food merchants to motorcycle repair shops, 97 percent of Indonesia’s workforce are employed at MSMEs, making COVID-19 aid to this sector crucial. Jakarta’s government needed to prioritize strategic investment, giving the most relief to the MSMEs whose growth would enhance economic stability.

In 2022, team JAKSTAT entered the all-digital SAS Hackathon, where they and all competing teams received their own mentor, networking and collaborative opportunities, and a learning portal with numerous educational resources. The team, led by Muhammad Iqbal of SAS partner StarCore Analytics, used artificial intelligence (AI) and data modeling to empower Jakarta’s government to make decisions on which types of businesses to send the most aid.

Analytics alchemy: JAKSTAT turns data to relief

In COVID-19’s wake, more than 287,000 MSMEs joined JakPreneur, a collaborative government platform dedicated to linking entrepreneurs and stakeholders and encouraging MSME resilience. JAKSTAT leveraged this data to begin their project.

JAKSTAT used SAS® Viya® to cover the end-to-end steps of the machine learning lifecycle. They began by collecting and validating data from JakPreneur, then integrated other data sources to provide a unified view of Jakarta’s MSME landscape.

Next, the team applied AI to identify clusters of MSMEs, and used automated data streaming and scoring for real-time response. In collaboration with economists and the Provincial Government of Jakarta, JAKSTAT took their data-backed profiles of enterprises to answer real-world questions. By simply inputting an investment in rupiahs into one type of business, a user could see an output of expected GDP growth, all rendered in accessible graphics.

“The scope, timeliness and impact of this project demonstrates how, with the right skillset and the right tools, data can be transformed into real-world solutions and value,” said Marinela Profi, data scientist and Global Product Marketing Manager for AIA and Analytics at SAS. “This is what the SAS Hackathon is all about: connecting practitioners with best-in-class analytics and AI tools. Team JAKSTAT anticipates this solution could be implemented in cities the world over, so we may be seeing reverberations of their ingenuity for years to come.”

About SAS

SAS is a global leader in data and AI. With SAS software and industry-specific solutions, organizations transform data into trusted decisions. SAS gives you THE POWER TO KNOW®.

Editorial contacts:

Declared overall winners of the 2022 SAS Hackathon, team JAKSTAT’s platform optimizes relief distribution to Jakarta's millions of small businesses.