Aalto University: Tableau offered students lessons in data analytics

A total of ten student groups from Aalto University School of Business and Turku School of Economics competed against each other at the end of the spring semester in a business analysis challenge. The competition has been organised since 2018. From that time, it has been part of the Business Intelligence (BI) courses at Aalto University and Turku School of Economics. At Aalto, the Business Intelligence course is a Capstone course in Information and Service Management (ISM), in which master’s students participate.

This year, the course partner was Tableau, a member of Salesforce, represented by Lead Solution Engineer Janne Lind. At Aalto, Yong Liu, Associate Professor at the Department of Information and Service Management, has been the teacher-in-charge of the course for several years. The other teacher is Johanna Bragge, Senior University Lecturer and Associate Director of the Bachelor’s Programme at the School of Business.

The challenge: Solving road safety problems
The data of the Tableau Analytics Challenge competition consisted of the statistics of the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom and the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency, which dealt with accidents and traffic safety in southern Finland. This included e.g. Satakunta and Pirkanmaa. The objective of the teams was to create insights based on the data that would help understand the problem areas of road safety. In particular, they were to provide views on how to reduce both the total number of accidents and the number of serious accidents, and how to identify dangerous traffic conditions and locations.

A team of Aalto students with Visa Mäkeläinen, Emil Inberg and Verneri Turunen were considered the best in the entire competition. ‘The solutions and presentations of all the 3-4 member teams who reached the finals (5 from Aalto and 5 from Turku) were excellent. The presentations were held via Zoom,’ tells the jury, which included Yong Liu, Johanna Bragge, Janne Lind and Lecturer Timo Leino from Turku School of Economics and Visual Analytics Tech Lead Tero Honko from Solita.

‘The presentation of the best team was very smooth with professional level visualisations. The four-minute presentation was very clearly structured and gave answers to the questions: When, where and why. The team also gave excellent answers to the jury’s questions,’ say Yong Liu and Johanna Bragge.

Student Visa Mäkeläinen is grateful for the possibility to take the course. ‘The course was very motivating, and we learned a lot!’

‘The skills learned during the course and through the competition are very useful, so it was a pleasure to be involved in this and to offer students Tableau Online platform technology as a tool. It’s nice to hear the students’ positive feedback. They seem to really appreciate this kind of business collaboration, in which they can solve real business challenges,’ says Janne Lind.

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