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MMA Datathon 2021 participant stories - Disha, 3rd place winner

The 4th Annual Rotman MMA Online Datathon brought in student perspectives and insight from all around the world! Participants took part in this event for a chance to test their analytical skills in solving an interesting challenge on the mortgage loan market. Data is most powerful when interpreted and applied to solve a specific problem, and participants this year we're able to do just that.

It was also a chance to experience what the Rotman Master of Management Analytics program has to offer from the comfort of being at home while creating new friendships globally.

Every year, there is a growing interest and participation in the Datathon competition. Participants from around the world are tasked to apply their managerial, analytical, and communication skills to develop a strategy for a managerial problem set by one of Rotman’s industry partners.

This year’s Datathon was held from September 30-October 16, 2021, and included 250 participants from 21 countries. Rotman hosted 53 teams of the brightest management problem solvers to dive into real-life data set and come up with a managerial solution to a business case surrounding the data.

The online event was an excellent opportunity for those passionate about analyzing data and applying insights into real-world challenges. Working in teams of four to five, participants took full advantage of their computational skills by using software tools and program languages such as SAS, Python, R, and SQL.

Participants were able to showcase their potential, explore data sets virtually, and improve their business applications of data. One of the major challenges involved in this competition was to summarize key insights within a strict time frame and decide how to best clean, sort, and analyze real data from the organization based on the challenge provided.

This blog post details the experience of Disha, a 3rd place winner in this year's MMA Datathon.

Quick info

  • Name: Disha Dhawan
  • Current position: Business Operations Associate
  • Educational background: Bachelor of Computer Science and Engineering

1. What made you decide to sign up to the Rotman MMA Datathon 2021?

I was interested in the MMA program at Rotman and looked at the datathon as a great opportunity to interact with the professors and fellow aspirants of the program. I also saw this as a chance to experience what goes around in the program.

2. What was the challenge presented this year? 

We were provided with data for Nebraska Mortgage Market. Our task was to assess the current and future Nebraska mortgage market to recommend new business development opportunities for Great Lakes Midwest Bank.

3. Was the event what you expected? What were your fellow participants like?

The event turned out to be a truly enriching experience for me. It was my first official datathon. I had the opportunity to learn and share my knowledge with my fellow participants, despite the fact that only 2 out of 5 of us in my team stuck around till the end of the challenge. Nevertheless, I was still able to interact with people from different backgrounds and ethnicities.

4. What are some lessons/takeaways that you’ve gained through this Datathon?

Through this, I learned how to approach and break down the case. I got acquainted with the different types of analysis which can be performed in the preliminary steps that provide some direction to move forward.

5. What was your highlight of the event?

It was the feeling of presenting our solution to the entire judging committee and the fellow participants during the final event which takes the cake for me. It was a great opportunity to share the proposed solution we devised and also get feedback and tips from the judges.

6. How much of an impact did it make in your decision to choose the MMA program?

It further fortified my decision to join Rotman for the MMA program. I was very happy with the challenge and the kind of support which was provided by the roman team. Professor Opher’s words at the end of the datathon about how to approach these problem statements resonated with me.

The datathon confirmed that the MMA program fits closely with my career goals and is the right next step for me.

7. What advice/tips would you give to someone taking part in our Datathon in 2022?

  1. Take part in it with the intention of getting the most out of it, be in technical knowledge, presentation skills, networking skills.

  2. Be a team player and take a lead if no one else in the team is taking it. Divide and distribute the work based on everyone’s capabilities.

  3. It’s okay to not know where to start. Keep going and submit a solution you think will work.

 The Master of Management Analytics is designed to give students the advanced data management, analytics and communication skills needed to become an analytics professional.


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