NewYork, 30.01.2019

City University of New York team wins first GfK NextGen Hackathon Competition

College of Staten Island students prevailed in 10-day event offering real-world experience with data integration, analytics

Drawing on data from GfK and other sources, a team of three undergraduates from the College of Staten Island’s School of Business has won the inaugural GfK NextGen Data Science Hackathon Competition. The College is part of the City University of New York (CUNY).

GfK challenged students to develop strategic recommendations for a hypothetical AI-based smart speaker just entering the market. Each team had 5 minutes to present its findings and another 5 to field questions from a panel of judges – GfK clients acting as mentors to the students, as well as GfK’s own data science experts.

Participants were assessed on a variety of criteria, focusing both on data skills and business intelligence. The winning CUNY team – which takes home a $5,000 cash award – delivered a strong combination of specific recommendations, clear data support, and presentation skills. The CUNY-CSI team are

  • Kevin Ferger – Marketing & Business Management double major (Class of 2019)
  • Nicholas Pepitone – Economics, with Business concentration and Marketing minor (Class of 2019)
  • Kenneth De Young – Information Systems & Informatics, with Design & Digital Media minor  (Class of 2019)

Runner-up reports came from Point Park University and California State University, Northridge; these presentations also showed a strong understanding of and focus on data analysis.

For 2019, GfK North America reimagined its annual NextGen Competition – which previously focused on traditional research methods – as a 10-day hackathon, in which students mined raw data sets for relevant insights and then converted them into business guidance. The change reflects a radical transformation in market research, in which data integration and predictive analysis now play dramatically larger roles.

In previous years, teams from Aurora University, Chatham University, Loyola University (Chicago), Purdue University (Calumet), and Roosevelt University won top GfK NextGen honors, in competitions focused on traditional market research methods – but still employing data science and analysis. 

CUNY-CSI team wins NextGen Hackathon Competition

The CUNY-CSI team (L to R): Kenneth De Young, Nicholas Pepitone, and Kevin Ferger

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