Analytics for Society 2024 audience


4 min read
Shortlisted team pitching

The Analytics for Society Award final event on 5th March 2024, brought together academics, entrepreneurs, students and industry experts to promote the use of analytics, optimization, and visualization tools to explore and tackle problems for the good of our society, specifically addressing one or more of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The event was hosted at Imperial College Business School and was organised by four MSc Business Analytics students, Sanyam Jain (President), Ka-Chun Liu (Treasurer), Luigi Guan (Head of Marketing), and Chelsea Liu (Head of Events). It was supported by the Gandhi Centre for Inclusive Innovation, the Department of Analytics, Marketing & Operations, and the Postgraduate Community Fund.

At the application stage teams were asked to prepare a five-minute video and a brief summary document that demonstrates how data visualization tools and/or state-of-the art analytical techniques can be used to: 

  • Explore issues threatening, and opportunities contributing to, one or a combination of the United Nations Sustainable Development goals (SDGs); 
  • Address these issues and/or explain the impact of these opportunities using data analytics;
  • Communicate the findings to a wider audience effectively and creatively. 

Submissions were reviewed and voted on, and a final shortlist of teams were invited to attend the awards event and pitch their ideas to a panel of research and industry experts, with the winning team(s) receiving a share of the cash prize pool.

Analytics for Society Keynote Speaker 2024

While the judging deliberations took place we were extremely honoured to host three amazing keynote speakers.

Natalie Pullin (Head of Sustainability, Group Technology at HSBC), opened by speaking on how we can leverage technology and how we can make digital skilling interesting for everybody, and took us through a case study focusing on the opportunities there are now for sustainability specialists to collect and interpret data, and how that can be leveraged to help industries and drive change.

Kimberley Abbott (Founder and CEO, Vested Impact, UN Independent Consultant) took the floor next, detailing her background and what drove her to launch Vested Impact, emphasising the importance of having a willingness to learn and try, and to believe in what you’re doing when launching a business. She then shared her insights around solving the SDGs, highlighting the need to “measure what matters”, including the outward impact, how it requires science based evidence and data at scale, and to be mindful of the context of data. “Let’s redefine ‘millionaire’ to be a person who impacts a million lives”.

Our final keynote speaker Julia Westland (Tech Analytics and AI Career Consultant, Ex-BCG, Ex-Accenture), started by outlining her background and highlighting some interesting examples of how bringing together data and solving the SDGs can directly impact lives (and even save lives). She went on to describe how skill requirements have changed, so the data questions and solutions we should be thinking about now have also changed. Julia also explored how the data and analytics job universe is expanding, thus the demand for data roles is exploding, so suggested some ways that we can make ourselves stand out in a tight job market.

"Sustainability is the need of the hour and analytics is the key to making it happen. Leading this event made me learn from innovative and analytical solutions presented by people from eclectic backgrounds" - Sanyam Jain, President

Analytics for Society winning finalists

The evening closed by announcing the winners of the competition.

Claiming the top prize was ‘SkilBridge’, hoping to eradicate poverty and empower young people in Malaysia through their micro-credentials and comprehensive ‘career map’ initiatives.

Second prize went to ‘GetHomeSafe’, a ride pooling platform that connects women so they can travel together more safely and cheaply.

And in third place was ‘FreshSense’, who are introducing a groundbreaking IoT sensor designed to tackle the global challenge of food wastage, aligning with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2, 3, and 12. Their sensor monitors critical environmental parameters to maintain food quality, targeting perishable items like dairy, meat, seafood, and beverages.

Congratulations to all our winners! We look forward to seeing how your ideas develop.

The evening finished with celebrations and a networking session, and we are thrilled to announce that there will be a third Analytics for Society Award in 2025, with the team due to announce a call to recruit the new team soon. Please check the website and social media channels for details.

Thank you to the team for organising this incredible event, to the incredible judging panel, and to everybody who supported and participated throughout!

Analytics for Society 2024 team