Axiata, Asia School of Business and Cities 4.0 collaborate on Urbanlytics Malaysia 2019

  • Urbanlytics 2019 will focus on smart cities
  • Was launched in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh earlier this year


Axiata, Asia School of Business and Cities 4.0 collaborate on Urbanlytics Malaysia 2019


AXIATA Group Bhd (Axiata) in collaboration with Cities 4.0 and Asia School of Business has invited both students and working individuals to participate in a datathon called Urbanlytics 2019.

The programme is aimed at helping to inspire engaged and innovative thinking as well as build up capacity and talent among Malaysian data science individuals and communities.

This year’s datathon is the second edition of the programme in Malaysia and was launched successfully in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh earlier this year. While last year’s datathon was themed around connected cars, Urbanlytics 2019 will focus on smart cities.

The concept of big data and data analytics has been around for years but has become more integral as a tool to better understand customer needs and assist in business decision making.

Axiata, Asia School of Business and Cities 4.0 are looking to expose, nurture and develop a greater pool of specialists in this fast-emerging area of expertise and skills required in an increasingly connected world.

Urbanlytics 2019 is an opportunity for data scientists to implement machine learning algorithms for developing interesting AI solutions during the datathon (a weekend-long competition).

Axiata, Asia School of Business and Cities 4.0’s inaugural collaboration is intended to provide a platform for Malaysian talent and a community for all aspiring data scientists to show their insights in creating real impact on the daily lives of Malaysian citizens.

Outcomes may include visualisations, insights into specific variables and predictions or analyses involving external datasets. Considered a data-focused hackathon, the datathon will provide participants with complex datasets and the challenge to develop models and insights over the weekend that lead to practical solutions which can impact real-life business.

Participants will be mentored and guided by industry professionals in analytics, including experts from leading industry association TM Forum and Axiata’s Analytical Center.

On Monday, Sept 23, 2019, the champion team will have the opportunity to receive the Grand Prize from Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Prime Minister of Malaysia at Hotel Istana where the 2nd edition of Cities 4.0 Conference and Exhibition is happening on Sept 23 and 24, 2019.

Dr Hans Wijayasuriya, Axiata’s corporate executive vice president and regional chief executive officer, said, “In our broader goal of Advancing Asia, we aim to bring together the best in the region in terms of innovation, connectivity and talent. Through this datathon, we want to develop, harness and build a talent pool of Malaysian experts in data sciences as this is marked as a highly desired future profession for talent coming out of Asia. This also provides for an opportunity to imbue talents with similar passion for data in society and show the social impact that data-driven solutions can bring to Malaysia and the wider region.”

Building upon this vision, Pedro Uria Recio, head of Axiata Analytics Centre added, “After our successes in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Malaysia where we have hosted a total of 400 data-enthusiasts, we are excited to be hosting another datathon this year. At Axiata, we are dedicated to leveraging innovative data science and data storytelling to deliver regional impact to serve over 350 million subscribers in 11 countries.”

According to Willem Smit, Assistant Professor of Marketing at the Asia School of Business and International Faculty Fellow at MIT, “The Asia School of Business aims to create change-makers and we believe that this collaboration with Axiata contributes to that. The Urbanlytics 2019 datathon will be a great opportunity for talented minds to grow and highlight their capabilities to drive change in their society through data.”

Urbanlytics 2019 challenge details

The challenge is entirely focused on the open-source culture of creating code and algorithms. Urbanlytics 2019 is suitable for individuals from various backgrounds, including but not limited to data scientists, data engineers, programmers, graphic and interface designers, data journalists, data community activists, computer engineers, IT professionals and business consultants.

Participants will be required to form teams of five to seven. On Sept 21 and 22, 2019, Axiata will release the completely anonymised dataset and the teams will have 24 hours to come up with solutions to real business challenges.

The judging panel will then select the top five teams to pitch their ideas, after which three teams will be selected as winners. Axiata is offering over RM30,000 worth of prizes, for its team and individual categories.


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