System to predict needs of ecommerce shoppers wins GfK’s NextGen Data Science Hackathon

A team of four Computer Science majors from New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) has won GfK’s annual NextGen Data Science Hackathon Competition, capturing a $5,000 grand prize. The NJIT group proposed data-driven systems for making FMCG ecommerce experiences more personalized.

GfK challenged undergraduate students to develop strategic recommendations for new products or services in the shopper insights space. Competitors had access to data from GfK’s National Shopper Lab (NSL) – which captures loyalty card activity from 96 million US shoppers – and other sources. The teams needed to show excellence in data science and analytics above all, while presenting plans for an innovative offering.

Finalist teams from the US and abroad had 5 minutes each to present their ideas to a panel of expert judges that included Christine Carlson – Insight & Category Leadership, Pepsico

Deb Eskra – Measurement & Applied Data Science, Oracle

Fabiola Folino – CSU Market Test Director, Ferrero

Also evaluating the student presentations were Miix Analytics’ Hilary Borndahl (Founder and CEO), and GfK’s Stacy Bereck (Managing Director, Consumer Insights & Sales Effectiveness), Neal Heffernan (EVP, Sales Effectiveness), and Rolfe Swinton (Director, Data Assets).

The NJIT team developed “iRecommend,” a service that relies on predictive analytics to suggest products to ecommerce shoppers, based on their purchase histories and personal characteristics. The winners were: Dang Huynh – Junior; Computer Science

Khoa Nguyen – Junior; Computer Science Tuan Phan – Junior; Computer Science An Tran – Junior; Computer Science The runner-up team hailed from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business in Indianapolis; their project – created by a 5-person group of Marketing majors – focused on “eTurn,” a proposed system for recycling ecommerce shipping packages. Continued … “We were beyond pleased with the diversity and high quality of responses to this year’s NextGen challenge,” said Rolfe Swinton, GfK’s Director of […]

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