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Malaysian students win data science award from Canada

  • APU's Team Majestic had highest number of votes among 26 teams for its dashboard
  • Won Viewer’s Choice Award in University of New Brunswick, Canada, Data Challenge

Malaysian students win data science award from Canada

Two Malaysian students have won the Viewer’s Choice Award in the November 2021 edition of the Data Challenge – Tell a Story with Data, organised by the University of New Brunswick, Canada. 

Team Majestic comprising Foong Kit Wah and Kong Xin Ying, studying Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Computer Science with a specialism in data analytics degree at Asia Pacific University (APU), won the award, APU said in a statement.

The duo did so by gaining 1,000 votes in the infographic poster round (data visualisation track), culminating in the highest votes among 26 teams for their dashboard.

Data analytics is the science of analysing raw data to make informed decisions. Data analysts can process large amounts of data and determine the most useful parts of these data.

Their conclusion can be presented in the form of statistical information graphs, to explain and describe the main information contained in these data.

Data analysis, a subcomponent of the broader term – data analytics, is the combination of mathematics and computer science.

The team was the sole team representing Malaysian higher education institutions, competing with 12 Canadian universities. Their reward includes a US$150 (RM629) cash prize and certificates.

With the aim of showing Canada’s level of progression in the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), the duo built an insightful dashboard in the form of effective infographics.

Their success was based on their ability to tell a suitable, insightful, and convincing story from a dataset via effective visualisations set up as a dashboard and showcased via a poster to viewers and judges.

Prior to this, for about one and a half months, the team under the guidance of their mentor-lecturer from APU's School of Computing, Mafas Raheem, had worked hard throughout the process.

This included selecting a dataset which talks about the trending SDG goals of Canada up to setting their presentation title as “Global Warming, Canada – Where do we stand?”.

“Our team was given four minutes to present our key findings via an online platform. We focused on the impact, barriers, and how we play our part in reducing the excessive release of greenhouse gases,” said Foong, who aims to build a career based on his expertise in data analytics.

When asked about how their courses had contributed to their winning factor, Kong, who has a strong interest in data storytelling, said she used knowledge from the business intelligence system module, which provided her with the knowledge of utilising Microsoft Power BI for data analysis. Malaysian students win data science award from Canada

She added that this eased the process of data analysis during the competition and said that other useful modules include data management,  programming for data analysis and data mining and predictive modelling.

On his students’ achievement, Mafas (pic) said the award meant a lot to his students as they aspired to become data analysts. 

“It is a significant achievement for them to step into their aspiring data analysis and analytics career. Furthermore, this award is significant to APU’s School of Computing as our students could win at a competition conducted by a Canadian university defeating contestants from different countries.”

Find out more information on Team Majestic and their competitors’ infographic here 


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