In 2017, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and SAP launched ASEAN Data Science Explorers (ASEAN DSE) that aimed to foster the next cohort of data-driven changemakers by engaging and preparing today’s youth for tomorrow’s Digital Economy. The flagship program provides an avenue for tertiary students across the 10 ASEAN Member States (AMS) to learn and develop data analytics skills through a competition. Participants leverage SAP Analytics Cloud to design and deliver data-driven, innovative, and feasible solutions or recommendations that address ASEAN social and economic issues that will be presented to relevant ASEAN bodies.
Harnessing the Power of SAP Analytics Cloud
With the COVID-19 global pandemic still at large, this year’s program that began in February, took place virtually. ASEAN DSE kicked off with a series of in-country and virtual enablement and data analytics training sessions organised with SAP for students and lecturers in local universities across the AMS. Apart from the goal to promote the ASEAN DSE competition, these sessions aimed to equip students and lecturers with data analytics skills using SAP Analytics Cloud.
SAP Analytics Cloud is an innovative cloud solution that connects people, information and ideas to enable fast and confident decision making. It leverages machine learning and embedded artificial intelligence technology to discover deep insights, simplify access to critical information, and empower informed decision making.
Following the enablement and digital training sessions on SAP Analytics Cloud, the students were invited to form teams of two to compete in the national finals.
Teams were required to dissect the most pressing social and economic issues in the ASEAN region across six United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDG):
- good health and well-being
- quality education
- gender equality
- decent work and economic growth
- industry, innovation and infrastructure
- sustainable cities and communities
The national finals concluded this week in the Philippines on 9 September. The country named ‘Team Incognito’ from Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology to represent the country in the ASEAN DSE 2020’s Regional Finals on 14-15 October 2020. The winning team’s project focused on waste management solutions.
After getting crowned as the Philippine’s representative, ‘Team Incognito’ said,
“Our journey in this competition was beyond our expectation! Until now, the thought of being the national winner hasn’t sunk in yet. Going into the national finals was really nerve-wracking and, at the same time, exciting! We remember the challenges we had to face in joining this competition. We didn’t know what data science really was. Luckily, our college conducted training on how to do data analysis. That started it all! From there, we came up with a storyboard on waste management because we noticed that there’s a loophole in our current waste management system. We thought that if we don’t do any actions about this now, it will continue to cause fatal consequences to us and the environment.”
The regional finals will be hosted in Hanoi from 14-15 October. The 10 national finalists will get the opportunity to present their solutions and recommendations to a panel of distinguished representatives from the ASEAN Foundation, SAP and various government and NGO’s.
A Catalyst for Activism and Critical Thinking
ASEAN DSE has empowered over 16,259 students, 1,420 lecturers from 370 higher education institutes in the region with data analytics skills.
The over-arching goal of the ASEAN and SAP partnership program is to build digital literacy and 21st century skills among the youth across the AMS to prepare them for the Digital Economy. It also aims to promote ASEAN awareness and support the ASEAN Blueprint 2025, the ASEAN ICT Masterplan 2020 and the ASEAN Work Plan on Youth and Education 2016-2020.
In a statement, Edler Panlilio, SAP Philippines’ Managing Director said,
“Together with the ASEAN Foundation, we at SAP strongly encourage the youths to use their newly learned skills from SAP Analytics Cloud to create sustainable innovations for current social and economic issues. Also, youths should utilize these skills for their self-development. Digital skills are more relevant now in the middle of our current pandemic situation and as we look towards recovery. We are pleased to see that youths in ASEAN can make a difference in that goal and improve people’s lives.”