An Insight to Big Data – Data Storm 1.0

As written by Rtr. Kavishka Gunaratne,

Sometimes in life, when you run into an issue that might cost you a good deal or a doubt on whether or not you can achieve more of something, the answer to your queries lies in taking enough care to get your facts straight; study and relate them to the situation in order to reap the best and most out of the given circumstance.

Today, big data is created and utilized in almost every walk of life. Big data embodies volume, velocity and variety, and is quite simply a force to reckon with. As of 2020, around 1.7 megabytes of new data and information is said to be generated every second for every human being on the planet. This alone provides a testament to the importance of mastering the art of data analytics so that bending data in ways that allows one to uncover hidden insights that help find more tailored and scientific solutions to problems, is made possible.

Big data, data analytics and data science play pivotal roles in today’s operational and strategic decision-making agendas in the biz world in the upgrading of existing business processes. As the world moves more so into the Age of Information, the corporate demand for individuals with a calling in said subject domain is sure to rise for years to come.

Rotaract Club of University of Moratuwa always strives towards creating opportunities for individuals interested in exploring a new skill territory and expanding on their competency pools and thus ‘Data Storm 1.0’ was birthed. ‘Data Storm 1.0’ is the first-ever Data Analytics Case Study competition in Sri Lanka, organized by Rotaract Club of University of Moratuwa, in collaboration with the Rotaract Club of Faculty of Science, University of Colombo and powered by OCTAVE, the John Keells Group’s very own Centre for Big Data Analytics.

The competition was open to interested participants of all ages, representing any Rotaract Club, educational institution or corporate company. Registrations of teams of any 3 members of choice, was commenced on the 1st of February 2020 and a total of 106 teams signed up for the challenge.

The first round of the competition was conducted from 14th to 17th February across the Kaggle platform wherein competing teams were required to solve as much of a set of problems posted on the platform in the course of the three days, as possible and submit a report on the problems solved including details of problem identification and approach to solving. 56 teams provided submissions and the reports were evaluated by an independent panel of judges comprising of lecturers from the University of Moratuwa.

A special program was conducted at the Civil Auditorium of the University of Moratuwa on the 22nd of February, for the benefit of the participants of the first round of the competition. Dr. Amal Shehan Perera, Head of Department of Computer Science Engineering, University of Moratuwa was the guest speaker for the program. In addition to the guest lecture, John Keells also conducted a session on case solving – approaching the problem and use of suitable tactics in solving the given case. Based on the submissions of the first round, the 21 teams chosen to qualify into the final round of the competition were announced on the 25th of February.

The final round of the competition was held on the 29th of February at the John Keells Auditorium, Colombo and comprised of an 8-hour long datathon in which the competitors were required to come up with a viable solution to a given corporate issue-based case by utilizing their knowledge on Data Analytics in studying related synthetic business data provided to them. Taking into account the approaches and solutions to the case made by each team, 5 teams were chosen by an esteemed panel of judges that included experts from the field, to make business pitches of their solutions based on which the winners of the competition were to be chosen.

‘Storm Troopers’ of the University of Moratuwa were crowned the Champions of ‘Data Storm 1.0’ while ‘SlowMosquitoNet’ of the University of Moratuwa and ‘DataCrunchers’ of the University of Peradeniya secured First Runners Up and Second Runners Up respectively. The winners were awarded valuable cash prizes and will also be fast-tracked within the recruiting process of OCTAVE.

“Data is the new science. Big Data holds the answers” – Pat Gelsinger

Rotaract Club of University of Moratuwa identifies the necessity of grooming the generation of tomorrow to cater to the requirements of the future. The future is all about data and the storm is set to be back for more next year to help analytic minds sharpen their edge at taming data to unveil the unknown.

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