Thursday 17 January 2019

The AIB DataHack – Can you hack it?

2015 DataHack participants
2015 DataHack participants

Innovation is something of a buzz word at the moment, with many businesses, small, medium and large aiming to develop a culture of digital innovation and take advantage of an increasingly technologically-driven business environment.

The way we bank has changed in recent years and the onus is on banking institutions to adapt to new trends and understand their customers’ diverse needs. In response to this changing environment, AIB are taking data science and innovation seriously and are providing the next generation of digital innovators with a platform to develop their talent.

Recently, AIB organised the DataHack, an intense day-long competition in which 132 students from 13 third level institutes applied their talents to two distinct challenges that tested their problem-solving capabilities and imagination, the Datathon and the Hackathon.

Judges Jonathan McCrea (Futureproof, Newstalk) and Dr Aoibheann Bird (Insight Centre for Analytics) were impressed by the level of creativity and ingenuity on display and were faced with the unenviable task of selecting a winner from an extremely competitive field.

Jonathan McCrea asking a question during the Hackathon judging
Jonathan McCrea asking a question during the Hackathon judging

Taking home the top prize from the Hackathon competition were Dylan Stuart and Enrico Marugliano. Starting from scratch, the Maynooth students developed the Do Market app, which allows users to post and bid on small jobs, creating a micro-economy for users.

Faced with a complex dataset, Nevil Kirwan and Mina Victor from UCD battled against the clock and fellow students to create an extraordinarily accurate algorithm which earned them first place in the Datathon.

The Atrium at the AIB Bankcentre
The Atrium at the AIB Bankcentre

“The AIB DataHack Challenge is part of our commitment to supporting and facilitating young people’s innovation and entrepreneurial talent. It is an excellent opportunity to support high potential students and let them know that AIB is an exciting place to work where their talents will be appreciated,” said Seamus Murphy, Chief Data Officer

For the students, events such as the AIB DataHack provides them with an opportunity to showcase their skills and talents and at the same time gain an insight into what potential employers are looking for.

Throughout the DataHack event, AIB’s data scientists and software engineers were on hand to mentor participants. As well as supporting the students to find creative solutions to the challenges posed by the competition, they were also able to give an insight into what it’s like to work for AIB.

The 2015 AIB DataHack provided a glimpse into the future, with tomorrow’s innovators taking centre stage today. The resourcefulness and creativity on display from those who took part was of an incredibly high standard and attention has already turned to the 2016 event which will take place later this year.


Sponsored by: AIB

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