As part of the agency’s ongoing wish to create innovative solutions for clients, MEC together with the data start-up DATAA, is announcing a competition for Data Science Master's students. The challenge launches in February with the participation of the University College of London as well as a range of Belgian Universities (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Ghent University, Université Libre de Bruxelles).
The students are challenged to create an algorithm which can recognise and follow a user across devices 24/24 and 7/7. The difficulty in this lies mainly in the fact that each device has a different ID and secondly in the necessity for tracking user behaviour throughout their day.
Damien D'Ostuni, MEC Belgium’s Innovation and Activation Expert, explains, “Most people have several devices; smartphone, tablet and desktop for example; and they use them in different ways at different times during their day. Today’s consumers expect a personalised experience and are genuinely annoyed when they experience ‘unintelligent’ advertising, for example if they receive several times the exact same branded communications on all devices. The purpose of this challenge is to unearth solutions to reduce consumers’ irritation by optimising the digital experience so that brands can meet their consumers on the right device, at the right time and with a message that will have the right impact on their purchase journey.”
The competition launches on 15 February with an event at the Vrije University in Brussels. This will be broadcast live on Facebook for students of the other participating universities. Students can register until the beginning of March and their work will be evaluated by a jury of university professors, Damien D'Ostuni, MEC Belgium CEO Thierry Brynaert and DATAA CEO François Bordes in the end of May. You can find out more on the website dedicated to this challenge: www.dataa.com/mec-data-challenge.
François Bordes commented, “Students can submit their projects in groups of two or three, using the Kaggle platform. The algorithms that they develop, will be validated by our participating university professors to ensure their robustness and functionality.”
With this unique initiative, MEC Belgium demonstrates a willingness to reach out to the academic world to find new solutions to improve brand experiences and ensure future growth for the agency and its clients.