17 June 2015

Big Data Competition

By Hao Fu, current student at the University of Sydney Business School, and participant in the Big Data Competition. The Competition, run by the Business School in partnership with Woolworths, challenged students to use real time data about the sales of some of their most popular product lines to predict weekly sales.

The Big Data Competition was a great experience, and one which I found very meaningful.

One of the most valuable aspects of the competition was the opportunity to work in a team. As the old saying goes, “two heads are better than one” - more brain power brings more success. I would not have been able to achieve the same result on my own. Working with my teammates, Tori and Christopher, determined our success.

Tolerance and understanding are keys to successful group dynamics. As English is not my first language, it can be hard to express my ideas clearly in this type of setting. The patience and kindness my group members showed was so helpful.

The first week was a challenge, and we didn’t get back great results. But as each week passed, we were able to improve. The competition wasn’t just about the results, but also the process. We used many methods to predict the sales, and also did some online research about promotion and sales. I found myself growing obsessed with the statistics – as they weeks went on, they weren’t boring and rigid anymore.

Overall, it was a wonderful experience. I learned that teamwork, working hard and making the most of opportunities is the key to success.

I also really appreciate my group members, and thank the Big Data Competition for giving me two good friends.

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