Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

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Yoseph participated in the second Rotman MMA on-campus Datathon and joined the MMA class which started in August 2019.

What made you decide to sign up to the Rotman MMA Datathon in 2018?

I decided to sign up to the Rotman MMA Datathon because I had previously participated in several case competitions with my friends during our undergraduate studies, and this was an opportunity to get the team back together. We were eager to challenge ourselves and apply the analytical skills that we had learned. I was also interested in learning more about the MMA program and networking with people interested in data science.

Was the event what you expected?

The Datathon turned out to be different than what I had expected.

Since the competition was taking place at the Rotman School of Management, my team expected to leverage our skills and business acumen towards the analysis of a for-profit company. Instead, we were surprised and glad to see that the competition involved large datasets from a unique variety of organizations, and the scope of the challenge was much broader than what we had worked on in the past.

What were your fellow participants like?

My teammates and I had all recently graduated from Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Management. Three of us were Finance graduates from the inaugural cohort of the Accounting and Finance Program, and the fourth team member was an Accounting & Finance double major.

What was your highlight of the event?

Since my team came from a background of financial analysis, the tool we were most proficient at using was Excel. The highlight of the event was when our team was having our team being the last among the finalists selected to present. We didn’t expect to be selected since we had relied mostly on Excel and some SAS, and thus were hadn’t really prepared a presentation. After basically improvising our final presentation on the spot and winning third place, we felt that our analytical skills and mindset had been validated.

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

My participation in the Rotman MMA Datathon greatly impacted my decision to apply and enroll in the program. After meeting the Academic Director, Dmitry Krass, and some of the members of the admissions & recruitment team, I was convinced that the program was right for me. The ability to apply for free thanks to winning third place was also a great bonus. Although I had looked into several business analytics masters across Canada, participating in the Datathon made me feel like I was truly ready for the MMA program in particular, and thus it was the only graduate program that I applied to.

What advice/tips would you give to someone taking part in our Datathon in 2019?

Always remember the purpose of your analysis is to answer specific questions for a specific audience. The datasets you will be provided way include irrelevant data and may be missing relevant data. Make sure you understand the perspective of the people to whom you might be presenting the insights from your analysis. Once you understand what it is they likely need to know, figure out what data you might need to figure our and explain the answers, and focus only on that. Time is of the essence!

Register now: MMA Datathons


The Master of Management Analytics is designed to give students the advanced data management, analytics and communication skills needed to become an analytics professional in 9 months.

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