JAKARTA, 30 November 2017 – The ASEAN Foundation and SAP concluded the ASEAN Data Science Explorers (DSE) regional finals held at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta yesterday. Students representing Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand were awarded the top three awards for their insights and innovative ideas to tackle key social and economic issues in the ASEAN region.

This is the first year that the ASEAN DSE was organised in all ten ASEAN Member States. This initiative aimed to prepare today’s youth for tomorrow’s world. The initiative encouraged participants to deliver data-driven insights which highlight issues in ASEAN across six United Nation Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), namely (1) good health and well-being, (2) quality education, (3) gender equality, (4) clean water and sanitation, (5) decent work and economic growth, and (6) sustainable cities and communities. Participants were encouraged to harness the power of data to come up with impactful and constructive insights that can lead to innovative solutions to societal problems.

Team ‘ASEANalysts’, which is comprised of Thean Su Mei and Wong Feng Ming from Malaysia, emerged as the ASEAN champion at the regional face-off. Their project, focusing on improving primary education, is aligned to the SDG of inclusive and quality education for all. Both participants are students from Monash University.

The first runner up was team Omotesando, comprised of Febe Epafras and Vida Cornelius from the University of Indonesia. Their project on ‘financial inclusion through branchless banking’ is aligned to the SDG of decent work and economic growth for all.

Meanwhile, the team from Thailand, Bangkok Brothers, comprised of Pachara Aungsusuknarumol and Krittanut Jirathawong from Chulalongkorn University, came in third place for their project on ‘gender divide in ASEAN countries’. Their project is aligned to the SDG of achieving gender equality.

“The winning teams have come up with some innovative solutions that showcase the potential of our ASEAN youths to own the issues that they have chosen to address. Through this competition, we have been able to witness the passion and commitment that our ASEAN youths have towards driving a sustainable future for this community,” said Elaine Tan, Executive Director of the ASEAN Foundation.

Students who registered to the programme earlier this year gained access to ASEAN datasets as well as the SAP Analytics Cloud platform, which allowed them to analyse the data and derive insights. The SAP Analytics Cloud is a new generation software as a service that redefines analytics in the cloud by providing business intelligence, predictive and planning capabilities all within one tool. Using this cloud platform, the participants could analyse and visualise data to come up with their innovative recommendations.

All ten teams at the regional finals were the top teams from each ASEAN Member State.