Farmer School team wins 2020 Teradata Analytics Challenge

teradata-winner-analytics-challengeA team of students from Miami’s Farmer School of Business and the College of Arts and Science took on students from around the world to win the analytics portion of the 2020 Teradata Analytics Challenge last month.

The students competed against seven other finalist teams, including two from Miami, to win the challenge. The winning team was made up of Claire Galberg, information system and analytics major; Yili (Toby) Yang (Miami’20) with a degree in accountancy, business analytics and arts management; Brant Imhoff (Miami’ 20) with a degree in statistics; and Laura de Oliveira, business analytics major.

The path to winning the challenge started last semester.

“We submitted a condensed version of a project we worked on in Dr. Jay Shan’s ISA 514 course (managing big data). We were challenged by Dr. Shan to work on any analysis we chose using any type of tools or models we wanted,” Galberg said.

“We decided to analyze COVID-19 cases because we began the project in the middle of last semester, when there were a lot of unknowns and a big media frenzy. We tried to build a regression model to predict COVID-19 deaths based on other variables like population and a time series analysis of the number of cases and deaths to predict what those numbers would be for a two-week period.”

Galberg and de Oliveira worked to prepare the study for the competition because Imhoff and Yang had graduated in May.


Laura de Oliviera presenting during the during the virtual Teradata Analytics Challenge.

“We kept our team motivation up and continually pushed the project forward. We had good communication within the team, which kept everyone being productive,” Yang said. “We were still communicating while finalizing the presentation even though I was six hours ahead in Switzerland. I am grateful and lucky for having teammates like them.”

After being named finalists in August, the selected teams made virtual final presentations in mid-September, then learned they had won the analytics portion of the challenge.

Watch the virtual presentations on the Teradata challenge website. 

“The competition was a great opportunity for us to be exposed to students from other schools and see the tools they used and the analyses they performed,” Galberg said. “I’m beginning to learn there’s really no limit to what you can do with data. It’s not all programming and math, there’s ambiguity and room for creativity. I’m really grateful for what the faculty in the ISA department has taught me, and for opportunities like this to learn from other students as well.”

The other Miami teams that made the analytics finals were the team of Amy Hu, a business analytics and marketing student; Yao Luo, information systems and analytics major; and Ethan Rosser, information systems and analytics major; and the team of Helen Zhang, information system and analytics and fashion business major; and Alex Kwon, graduate student with degrees in computer science and business analytics.

"I am very proud with the performance of all three Miami teams who were selected as finalists in this prestigious competition, with a special congratulations to the team finishing on top. Our teams tackled a diverse set of interesting, important, and globally relevant issues,” Shan said. “All of our teams brought forth great passion and creativity along with their strong analytical skills. It is another testament to the experiential learning in our curriculum."