Master's Students Named Finalists in International Competition

Friday, June 16, 2017

Three graduate student teams from UNC Charlotte are finalists for the 2017 Teradata University Network (TUN) 2017 Data and Analytics Challenge, an international data analytics competition.

From more than 70 submissions, just 17 finalists were selected, three of which are UNC Charlotte teams that will represent the Belk College of Business at the final competition. Shivam Thanvi, a Belk College MBA student and Vinaya Tinguria, a student in the Professional Science Master’s in Data Science and Business Analytics (DSBA), will compete as finalists in the Data Challenge.

In the Analytics Challenge, DSBA Saritha Ramkumar will represent her team as a finalist. In addition, a team led by DSBA student Lyndsay Richter was awarded an Honorable Mention in the Data Challenge.

The students will present their findings at the 2017 Teradata Partners conference this October in Anaheim, California, before more than 3,000 attendees that will include some of the world’s most advanced data and analytics experts and business leaders. These attendees will represent more than 900 companies in 45 countries. UNC Charlotte finalists competed against student teams from exceptional schools from around the world, including NIDA Thailand, California State University, Singapore Management University and Texas A&M.

Student advisor and Belk College of Business Professor of Marketing Charles Bodkin said UNC Charlotte’s recognition is proof of the University’s success in preparing students to meet the demand for “big data” experts.

Becoming finalists for the Teradata University Competition provides students with opportunities to meet C-suite executives from high tech companies who are attending the 2017 Teradata Partners conference. Finalists are able to attend the conference for free and are given unique badges that allow them to stand out at the conference career fair and poster session.

“During the week of the conference, these badges send a signal to companies that, as a finalist, these students have a demonstrated ability in analytics. Becoming a finalist provides recognition of the student's command of Big Data and, after attending the conference, they should go far in their future careers,” Bodkin added.

Since 2014, the Teradata University Network has organized student competitions through both a Data Challenge and an Analytics Challenge. This year, UNC Charlotte had the highest representation among the finalists and honorable mentions across both challenges.

“It is rewarding to see that our students' projects are of industry-recognized, award-winning caliber,” said Jennifer Troyer, associate dean for research and graduate programs. “This recognition speaks volumes about the quality of our analytics courses, faculty, and most importantly, our students. Their success illustrates UNC Charlotte's commitment to produce world-class analytics professionals."

In this year’s competition, students were provided the same data set to examine, analyze, visualize and present their findings and results. The challenge was to identify marketing opportunities for nonprofit partner, Rise Against Hunger (formerly Stop Hunger Now), which provides food and life-changing aid to the world’s most vulnerable communities.