Big data is a hot topic these days, with nearly everyone, from academics to corporate executives, exploring its transformative power to address a broad range of business challenges. With the advance of technology, data and analytics turn numbers into insights, which help businesses manage costs, minimise risk and drive growth.
Aiming to unleash creativity and business acumen of business undergraduates in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Federation of Business Students (HKFBS), the largest student-led business organisation in Hong Kong, which currently serves more than 15,000 members, organises the annual KPMG Business Administration Paper.
Now in its 32nd year, the competition is regarded as one of the leading international case competitions in Asia.
The theme this year being “Go Beyond Data”, participants were required to create a profitable business plan by utilising data and analytics.
Over 700 students, competing as part of more than 150 teams, participated this year for cash prizes of up to HK$15,000, as well as internship opportunities at KPMG. As the HKFBS believes that the flow of ideas should not be restricted by national borders, foreign universities are invited to send teams to Hong Kong to compete in the grand final of the BA Paper each year.
After rounds of selection, from preliminary report submission to semi-finals, four teams from
Hong Kong and one from the National University of Singapore (NUS) were selected to join the grand final, held on February 11 at KPMG’s offices in Hysan Place.
The finalists were each given 15 minutes to present their business ideas to the evaluation committee, which was comprised of 18 business executives and professors.
Each presentation was followed by a 10-minute Q&A session, in which the judging panel interrogated the feasibility, effectiveness and profitability of the proposed business strategies.
After several rounds of intensive discussion, team “XYVision” from the University of Hong Kong (HKU), were named winners of the KPMG BA Paper 2017. In their entry, the team presented business solutions targeting property developers, with the ultimate goal of helping developers create a welcoming experience for customers.
The proposed business strategies used state-of-the-art technology of intelligent video analytics (IVA) and big data analytics, which helps improve operational efficiencies and layout designs of properties, with a particular focus on shopping malls and other commercial spaces.
“Big data is very fashionable right now. The competition provided us with the precious opportunity to dig deep into how data and analytics can be used to change people’s lives,” said members of the winning team.
“With the training workshops organised by the HKFBS, as well as support given by mentors from various fields, we gained a lot of insight into the industry which we never got to learn about as students.”
Another team from HKU, “CareMax”, was named first runner-up. CareMax’s entry specialised in healthcare technology for the elderly, its business model comprised of delivering accurate health reports in a timely manner to families of elderly people, the medical sector and insurance companies. Customised through algorithms developed and elaborated by the team itself, the information depicts a more comprehensive idea of the health conditions of elderly clients.
“MatheMedics”, a team from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, took the second runner-up spot. They proposed strategies to establish a remote monitoring system for public hospitals to resolve the Hong Kong medical sector’s high occupancy rate and poor medical demand forecasting system.
“We firmly believe that the BA Paper broadens students’ understanding of big data. It is our honour to equip students with the important skills and industry insights that will better prepare them for their future careers,” said Andrew Law and Isaac Li, project directors of the KPMG BA Paper 2017.
“By brainstorming creative business ideas and interacting with industry elites, the BA Paper focuses on problem-solving and critical analysis skills, and also stimulates the creativity of participants,” Law and Li concluded.