Dual Hack in SAS® Hackathon winners have families’ needs at heart

A neck-to-neck competition in the Nordic Hack In SAS® Viya® in Real Life resulted in a tie between two solutions both focused on using geographical and other information to help families in need. One is a crisis solution incorporating facial recognition to reunite families torn apart by war or disaster. The other is a life phase solution for families looking for the ideal place to call home. 

The teams from EVRY and Knowit share the honor as winners of the 2019 Nordic Hack In SAS® Viya® in Real Life competition. This was announced at the grand finale at the SAS Forum in Oslo on March 21st after four rounds of popular voting in Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki and Oslo, with a jury weighing in at the end. Finally, they had to call a draw between the two exciting projects that both illustrate how the combination of innovative thinking and data analytic capabilities can create new possibilities across the world and for every aspect of life and business.

“The competition has such a diverse range of innovative applications using SAS® Viya®. Congratulations to all applicants and to the both the winning team”, said Michelle Homes, founder of Metacoda, who served as a jury member and helped make the final selection.

Finding the ideal place to call home

The case from EVRY focused on using open source geographical and socioeconomic data in a solution which helps individuals or families pinpoint ideal neighborhoods for their next home in cities they are not already familiar with. Using data on both income and age distribution, housing costs, schools and other public amenities based on available data from the Municipality of Stavanger, the team demonstrated how a city can help newcomers decide where they might feel most at home while staying within their budget.

“This contest has been an exciting journey and a great opportunity for EVRY to show its capabilities within AI & the data economy. A diverse and multidisciplinary team has worked across borders and divisions to create a solution we believe has great potential for commercialization and creating real end-user value. Our team has done an amazing job. We have found the SAS Hackaton process very rewarding and are proud to win with such tough competition”, said Kåre Nygård, Vice President, Business Consulting / AI, Analytics & Insight at EVRY.

Finding missing family members

The Knowit case focused on alleviating a worst-case scenario in family life: The ability for refugees of war or disaster to reunite with family members, using a model which incorporates both facial recognition software and geographical data. This solution can help humanitarian organizations find people and point out safe zones for reuniting with loved ones.

“As last year´s winner we knew that we needed to go all in to win again this year. The combination of leveraging innovative technology and using data for good has engaged our cross-border team and led to a solution of which we are very proud. It is a great feeling when hard work pays off. Several humanitarian organizations have already shown interest in this project, and our ambition is to put the solution to life”, said Ingvar Larsson, CEO Knowit Decision Oslo.

"We have two great winners, EVRY and Knowit, who worked in cross Nordic Teams, using open available data and methodology in an original, creative and agile way to build their showcases, said Peter Lundqvist, who served as ‘Hackathon General’ during the month-long process towards the grand finale.

In a collaboration between Microsoft Azure, Intel, Esri and SAS Institute, the 11 analytic teams from SAS partner companies spent a month developing data analytic models to address topics ranging from how airlines can pinpoint customers’ next travel destination to motivational models to help citizens combat climate change.

Concepts based on real customer cases

The teams from SAS partner companies Acando, Accenture, Aureolis, BIWISE, CGI, Combitech, Deloitte, EVRY, Forefront, Knowit and Nextbridge competed using the cutting-edge tools from SAS Viya®. This allowed the teams to work with the latest technology including machine learning and open source. Several teams based their solutions on actual customer cases from leading companies such as SAS Airlines, Nordea, Telenor and ICA Banken, as well as available data from for example Stavanger Municipality.

“This Nordic Hackathon initiative is so much more than a competition. It’s the manifestation of a changing culture, of working together in the SAS ecosystem. The two winning contributions show high competence and creativity utilizing the SAS Advanced Analytical tools across the lifecycle, and they invite new audiences to explore topics and possibilities within AI,” says Einar Halvorsen SAS Nordic director for Alliances and Channels.

View the project descriptions and video presentation of the different competitors including the winners, here.


For press information, please contact:

Per Hyldborg, Head of Content & Communications, Nordic, at SAS Institute. Email: per.hyldborg@sas.com, tel +45 27 21 27 71


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