FIU MIS students move ahead in Merck Analytics Challenge.

FIU MIS students move ahead in Merck Analytics Challenge.

FIU MIS students move ahead in Merck Analytics Challenge.

For the second year in a row, FIU will be sending a team to compete in the Merck Analytics Challenge, part of the 2017 Association for Information Systems Student Chapter Competitions.

Out of a total of 22 universities and 43 submissions to the Challenge, FIU’s team, #PanthersDontSleep, will be one of only four teams moving forward to present their case at Brigham Young University in Utah, April 13-15, 2017. The team includes Management Information Systems majors Wayne Williams, Elisabet Diaz, Anntony Brown and Abeera Parwani. All students are members of FIU’s Association for Information Systems student chapter, AIS at FIU.

The Merck Analytics Challenge asks, “What solutions can analytics provide to the worldwide diabetes epidemic?” Students had to identify the countries that are most at risk of being impacted by diabetes through 2030. All entries were evaluated in two categories: visualization and analysis.

MIS Senior Anntony Brown is proud to move forward in the competition.

“It was exciting to build on what we learned in the classroom and apply it to a meaningful issue like diabetes,” Brown said. “Being selected as a finalist is genuinely a surreal experience. The fact that FIU’s College of Business is sponsoring us to travel to and compete in the Midwest to represent AIS at FIU is an immense honor.”

As the team edges closer to the next part of the Challenge, the students have been relentlessly fine tuning their presentation and key talking points.

“Being able to propose our plan and projections to [MIS] Faculty has been a huge asset,” Brown said. “Some professors took the time out to mentor us.”

Students were able to find alternate data sources which Merck had not provided. Findings were then presented to faculty mentors for feedback.

“This gave our solution a different perspective than our competitors,” Brown said.

Senior Abeera Parwani was part of the FIU team that placed third at last year’s Challenge. She is humbled to be a finalist for the competition again.

“Last year we came in third, and now we have a chance again to showcase our skills,” Parwani said. “This just goes to show you that as an MIS major, we can use the tools that we learn in the classroom and apply them in an advanced way.”

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