A trio of Mapúa Data Science students were crowned champion of the Philippine Junior Data Science Challenge 2023, co-presented by the UP Data Science Society and the Bank of the Philippine Islands. Third-year Data Science students Christine Love Ladringan, Alwin Denz Santos, and Lorenzo David Divina, who comprise Team Insigion, bested over 160 teams from various schools in the Philippines with their UNA project.
Team Insigion’s output, UNA, was an artificial intelligence (AI) – driven internal application that enabled customers to be more productive by automating customer segmentation and personalized recommendations. This final working product was inspired by the assigned data set challenge they had to analyze and solve during the rigorous competition. The UNA app was the key differentiator between them and the 15 other finalists who made it to the third stage of the prestigious challenge.
“What sets our project apart is that we developed an application. Our app is already a working application. Pwede nang gamitin, but of course, pwede pang i-improve. That also sets us apart sa contestants, kasi meron kaming skills for development and data science,” said Ladringan.
(“What sets our project apart from the rest is we actually developed an application. Our app is already a working application. It can already be used, but of course, it can still be improved. That also sets us apart from other contestants; we have skills for development and data science,” said Ladringan.)
Insigion member Alwin Santos explained that their AI output could predict customers and their behaviors, which could be particularly useful to companies with a large customer base.
“It can be applied in different industries so they can know and reach their customers, and in the case of BPI, teach customers about financial literacy and handling money and finances,” said Santos.
The potential of UNA in banking and other customer-focused industries is so vast that Insigion member Lorenzo David Divina added they hope that the BPI would partner with them soon, so they could integrate the application they developed using actual customer data sets and connect the app to their system and data center to benefit more branches and customers.
This aspiration may not be far off as Data Science competitions have become prestigious avenues where data science experts and enthusiasts test their analytical and programming skills, and they have also become a testing ground or creative space for students and professionals to analyze data and incubate ideas that solve real-world problems. These events also provide aspiring Data Scientists like Christine, Alwin, and Lorenzo an opportunity to apply what they have learned and appreciate the impact and role of their chosen career, which is what their team coach and professor Engr. Ericson Dimaunahan wanted them to experience first-hand.
While a Data Science career is lucrative, it is a career that one should plan and prepare for ahead of time. Students who want to specialize in it should have a strong foundation in math, statistics, coding, basic data concepts, and project-based learning. Prof. Ariel Kelly Balan, the Dean of Mapúa School of Information Technology, further explained that they must also develop core skills in data analysis, programming, data visualization, and statistics and have a keen interest in making a difference through technology to succeed in the field.
However, not all Data Science programs are made equal. As Team Insigion’s Christine Ladringan discovered, Mapúa’s curriculum covered the essential subjects and then some.
“Mapúa is one of the top universities that offer data science as a bachelor’s degree. I considered Mapúa because I compared the curriculum of Mapúa with other universities. The curriculum of Mapúa prepares students for the future, the real world, and the industry. Sobrang madaming matutunan na skills, technologies, newly released languages, tools in data science, at sobrang madaming matutunan sa data science,” said Ladringan.
(“Mapúa is one of the top universities that offer data science as a bachelor’s degree. I considered Mapúa because I compared the curriculum of Mapúa with other universities. The curriculum of Mapúa prepares students for the future, the real world, and the industry. There are so many skills to learn, technologies, newly released languages, tools in data science, and so much to learn in data science,” said Ladringan.
“Mapúa’s Data Science program can provide you with the tools and knowledge you need to thrive in this exciting field, but ultimately, it’s your dedication and passion that will determine your success. If you’re considering Mapúa’s Data Science program, do your research and ask questions,” seconded Prof. Balan.
To get a foothold into one of the “sexiest” careers of the 21st century, read more about Mapúa’s Data Science program at https://bit.ly/AskMapua.