University of Alabama students use SAS® Analytics to predict $180 million in health care savings

University of Alabama takes top spot in 2013 Analytics and Data Mining Shootout; Southern Methodist University and Oklahoma State University round out top three

A student team from the University of Alabama landed the top spot in the national 2013 SAS Analytics and Data Mining Shootout, sponsored by Teradata Corporation and the Institute for Health and Business Insight. Their research into disease prevention, treatment and costs revealed potential savings of nearly $180 million.

In the seventh annual Analytics and Data Mining Shootout, co-presented by SAS, Teradata and The Institute for Health and Business Insight, competitors were challenged to develop methods to determine the financial viability of various ecological approaches to disease prevention and health promotion. Armed with SAS® Analytics, teams were provided relevant data and instructed to implement appropriate analytics and data mining methods.

In order to assess potential prevention programs, University of Alabama students used SAS Analytics to predict the total cost and frequency of medical and pharmaceutical expenses for five primary diseases in New Hampshire for the years 2012-2020. In addition to easing pain and suffering associated with these five diseases, the team predicted that approximately $179 million in health care savings would result from implementing six prevention programs, with the greatest impacts coming from accident reduction and drug rehabilitation programs.

"These students produced compelling analytics research about one of our country's most pressing issues: health care costs and outcomes," said Jerry Oglesby, SAS Director of Global Education and Certification Programs and co-chair of Analytics 2013. "The Analytics and Data Mining Shootout is a great way for students to showcase such prolific modeling skills and develop a network in the analytics community."

The winning University of Alabama team, sponsored by Denise McManus and Mike Adams, included Semhar Michael, Rong Zheng, Xuwen Zhu, Kevin Crandall, Emma Grice and Chris DiSalvo. In addition to receiving a monetary donation, the team also received memberships to the International Institute for Analytics.

Southern Methodist University took second place, and Oklahoma State University rounded out the top three. The winners were announced at the Analytics 2013 data mining conference in Orlando. 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.

"As thought leaders in analytics solutions, processes and practices, SAS and Teradata have a responsibility to educate and support those who will lead businesses tomorrow," said Rick Lower, CA-AM, Teradata Alliance Director.  "Now more than ever, when the world needs more data scientists, analysts and data mining champions – it’s impressive to see this level of work and commitment."

The 2013 SAS Analytics Data Mining Shootout entries were evaluated 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 Analytics 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 for details. Teradata is a trademark or registered trademark of Teradata Corporation in the United States and other countries

Acerca de SAS

SAS es líder en Analytics. A través de innovadoras soluciones de Analytics, Gestión de Datos y Business Intelligence, SAS ayuda a clientes en más de 80.000 instalaciones a tomar mejores decisiones más rápidamente. Desde 1976, SAS proporciona a sus clientes en todo el mundo THE POWER TO KNOW®

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