Malaysian team wins inaugural global datathon

  • CADS team solves the Kaufland Case under the IoT category
  • Winners receive a one-year membership to the Data Science Society


William Ardianto during the presentation


IN THEIR aim to make the world more self-sustainable through technology, insights and intelligence as Asean’s first and only comprehensive data science training institution, where learning, networking and professional growth is integrated, The Center of Applied Data Science (CADS), recently won the world’s first Global Datathon Challenge. The participants, comprising four members from CADS’ data science team, were selected as winners from 30 teams around the world, with 24 of the top teams entering the semi-finals.

Organised by the Data Science Society, the participants were given five cases to choose from; two Predictive Analytics cases, an Internet-of-Things (IoT) case, a classification case and a retail case. The CADS team succeeded in solving the Kaufland Case which fell under the IoT category. The winners received a one-year membership to the Data Science Society.

According to Sharala Axryd, founder and chief executive officer of CADS, “Data science is a team sport. The components are there – cross-functional collaboration, combined expertise, a strategic approach and precise execution. After all, people are 2.33 times more valuable than technology.

“Competing in industry competitions, such as the Global Datathon, will greatly contribute towards honing our team’s knowledge and skillsets as well as establish an internationally-recognized benchmark. Through our win, we have proven that Malaysia is highly capable of producing talented data scientists who can succeed on the world stage across industries.”


Yee Xun Wei is the only undergraduate on the team


The CADS team was made up of Teoh Keng Hooi, a Cognitive Science graduate from Universiti Malaysia Sarawak with experience in performing end-to-end analysis; William Ardianto, a master’s degree holder in the field of Computer Science with four years’ experience in research and prototype development; the only female in the team, Narjes Khatoon Naseri, who has a master’s degree in Software Engineering and is an expert in applying mathematical and artificial intelligence approaches to optimise planning and timetabling systems and Yee Xun Wei, currently a third-year undergraduate student in Bachelor of Computer Science (Information Systems) from Universiti Malaya. He is the only undergraduate in the team and has shown great potential both as an intern at CADS and as a future data science professional.

During the competition, the participants were faced with real-world challenges of companies by performing temporal, spatial and predictive analysis. They worked with high volumes of sensors data collected within various devices where the goal was to create machine learning models for quick processing of billions of distinct IoT data records.


The staff at The Center of Applied Data Science (CADS) during the presentation by the winners of the Global Datathon 2018


The Global Datathon is a weekend-long online competition where participants are challenged to work on a real-world business case from the areas of IoT, Retail, Fintech and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

The competition required participants to study their chosen cases for a week prior to creating and building a solution. They were allotted 48 hours to come up with a solution and submit their article and analysis code pertaining to their case.

“Every effort we embark on in building game-changing data science talent in the nation is aligned with the Malaysian government’s ‘Industry4WRD’ aspiration. The Industry 4.0 blueprint’s objective is to make Malaysia the one-stop centre for smart manufacturing, prime destination for high-tech industries and a total solution provider for the manufacturing sector and services in the region, all of which are in line with what we aspire to do. It is towards this end that we are focusing on nurturing data professionals and to be in the driver’s seat of Malaysia’s digital transformation,” concluded Sharala.


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