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EON Bank, SAS Malaysia launch student challenge to promote business analytics

AvantiKumar | Aug. 16, 2010
'The Knowledge Discovery Challenge to develop youth for tomorrow'
KUALA LUMPUR, 16 AUGUST 2010 -- Malaysian bank EON Bank Group, together with business analytics firm SAS Malaysia, has launched a challenge for Malaysia's tertiary students to promote the area of business analytics.

"The SAS-EON Bank Group Knowledge Discovery Challenge [KDC], which is for Malaysian tertiary students, is part of the banking group's new corporate social responsibility plan, themed 'Developing our Youth Today, for Tomorrow'," said EON Bank Group's group chief executive officer, Michael Lor.

[This challenge] is to help equip young people with real-world skills to face the future and impact it positively for themselves, their communities and even the country, said Lor. 

"Other activities under the 'Developing Our Youth Today, for Tomorrow' theme includes the EON Bank Group Smart Junior Academic Excellence Awards, which has given more than US$126,000 [RM400,000] to 2,000 students since the year 2004, for excellent academic performances in public examinations; as well as support for Bank Negara Malaysia's School Adoption Programme, which seeks to increase financial literacy among school-going youth," he said.

 Business analytics increasingly important

In this particular case with SAS, we wanted a programme that would also become our contribution as a corporate citizen to the Malaysian economy," said Lor. "As business analytics has become an increasingly important tool in the commercial world, we believe having a strong homegrown pool of such expertise will position the country further up the value contribution chain, in line with the national agenda to become a high-skilled, high-income society.

According to SAS Malaysia's academic programme manager, Tan Siew Ling, participants of the SAS-EON Bank Group KDC would have to develop creative and effective marketing strategies to strengthen a bank's deposit provision by 15 per cent in a virtual simulation.

The participating teams will be provided with a sizeable volume of simulated customer data, which ensures full confidentiality, from EON Bank Group," said Tan. "The teams will then run it through the SAS Enterprise Miner analytical tool. Combined with an understanding of different customer characteristics, the teams will be challenged with real business problems faced by the industry and will need to propose the best strategy for the simulated bank to adopt within a given marketing budget.

He said this year's programme aim would involve up to 15 local public and private institutes of higher education from all over the country that currently license SAS data mining software as an integral part of their teaching syllabus or research. "The preliminary round of the SAS-EON Bank Group KDC started on 1 August 2010, where the participating teams are given one month to formulate their case studies. From there, only six finalists will be invited to the Final Judging Round and Prize Giving Ceremony on 22 September 2010."


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