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New York, NY, 11/17/2021

GfK challenges students to develop innovative shopper insights tools, techniques

Over a year of increased online purchasing and wariness about in-person shopping have dramatically transformed the retail landscape. As brands seek new ways to understand today’s empowered and versatile shoppers, GfK is focusing its annual NextGen Data Science Hackathon Competition on this changing marketplace – challenging students to find innovative ways to measure and analyze purchase behavior.

In the 2021-22 Hackathon Competition, GfK will award a $5,000 grand prize to the undergraduate team that develops and presents the most compelling data- and analytics-driven solution for understanding shopper journeys in this new ecosystem. Students in any major, working in teams of one to five, can take part in the event. 

Interested students should register at this link

During a 10-day hackathon – to be held April 14 to 24, 2022 – GfK will give students access to data sets from GfK’s National Shopper Lab (NSL) and other resources to create and validate their ideas. The solutions can be actual devices, approaches to data collection or analysis, or other ideas with real-world grounding and direct connection to brand decision making.

At the end of the hackathon, teams will have five minutes each to present their proposals, with marketers and researchers from GfK client companies acting as mentors and judges.

In addition to National Shopper Lab – which collects loyalty card sales data for over 80 million grocery and drug store shoppers – contestants will have access to insights from other GfK sources and studies.

“Brands and retailers need to think outside the box just to stay on pace with today’s shoppers,” said Rolfe Swinton, Director of Data Assets at GfK North America. “We are giving students a chance to work hands-on with shopper data to develop real-world solutions – testing their skills as data scientists, product developers, and even marketers. Every year, we are delighted and inspired by the creativity of our teams – and we look forward to sharing this experience again with key clients in shopper and FMCG space.”

The NextGen Competition began in 2011 with a focus on traditional research methods and goals. Over the years, the contest has evolved to reflect the changing toolkit and role of market researchers and data scientists. In 2018, GfK made a hackathon the centerpiece of the competition, with teams from California Polytechnic University at Pomona, Point Park University, and the College of Staten Island (City University of New York) taking first place in previous years.



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