Bringing together 80 data science students from 20 universities and 10 different countries, the Data Science Game is a big deal in the world of data science. Its previous editions have attracted some of the world's most prestigious universities, such as Stanford, Columbia, Polytechnique, Cambridge and Princeton. Last year, Moscow State University (MSU) dominated the competition, closely followed by the French team from UPMC, while Russia’s Skoltech (Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology) took the third step on the podium.
Once again this year, 20 teams of four – a total of 80 data science students from the world’s best schools – will be facing off in the finals. The challenge, established together with Cdiscount, the French e-commerce website partnering with the event, is to develop an algorithm that can predict the probability that a customer will make a purchase, based on their advancement in the online purchase journey. Students must use complex data sets and machine learning models to achieve the most accurate prediction.
Group Data and Tech Innovation mentors
The students will not be entirely alone in the competition. Seasoned data scientists will be present to act as “mentors”, coaching and guiding students during the challenge. All of the mentors are from Group Data and Tech Innovation at AXA, an independent structure entirely dedicated to the study and processing data.
Alexandre, Data Scientist, chose AXA because “It's a company with a genuine data culture. In fact, the very first data scientists were actuaries! This data culture, tied to the insurance culture, has ideally positioned AXA to develop cutting-edge technologies for data processing. In addition, it’s a large group, so we know that each project can potentially impact thousands, even millions, of people. Lastly, AXA understands the potential of data and readily invests in the right tools and infrastructure needed for its work.”
Boris, Research Data Scientist, made the choice simply because he can “explore research areas at the cutting edge of innovation, while working in a pleasant and stimulating environment.”
Fleur is a Data Engagement Manager and manages a team of six data scientists at AXA Partners. What motivates her at AXA are the customers: “They are one of our main drivers. Data science enables us to create solutions that are truly meaningful for our customers, and that's a very big source of shared satisfaction.”
For Alexis, the decision was easy: “AXA is one of the global companies that best supports data science. In addition to the enormous quantity of data that 105 million customers represent, it stands apart for its quality and diversity. This is a wonderful advantage for data scientists, but also for customers, whose risks are increasingly well-managed and whose losses are more easily prevented.”
Marcin is Head of Research and Development at Group Data and Technology Innovation. He is “very proud to be sponsoring the Data Science game once again. Not only because we have seen this event grow from a small event into a very competitive international challenge, but also because it is an opportunity for us to meet and exchange views with a young generation of data scientists, full of ideas and enthusiasm.”
As for Bryan and Xavier, they dedicated the evening to present concrete applications of data and machine learning in the field of insurance, as well as the importance of R&D, particularly in the field of bank-insurance and the interpretability.