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By Jaka Črnivec, SAP Slovenia

From September to November 2012, SAP University Alliances EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) organized an exciting, and challenging 2nd Dashboard Design Competition EMEA, for students at universities which are SAP University Alliances program members. The best three teams traveled to Madrid, where they got the opportunity to attend SAPPHIRE NOW+TechEd conference, and present their dashboards in front of the jury. The winner of competition has become the team from University of Budapest in Hungary, second place was taken by Brunel University in London, England and the third was the team from University of Maribor, Slovenia. The whole competition was conducted in cooperation with SAP Business Analytics Services and United Nations children’s charity – UNICEF France. 1st Dashboard Design Competition in EMEA was organized earlier this year, which was based on 2012 UEFA European Football Championship.

Students were free to download latest SAP Crystal Dashboards Design 2011 tools from the University Alliances Community page as well the new solution for business users – SAP Visual Intelligence. These solutions offer answers to various business problems and allow users to interact with their data in more meaningful ways with what-if scenarios. Graphical analysis tools were to help the students to understand the business problem of their “customer” UNICEF, better understand the data they were looking at, identify patterns inside that data, and come up with recommendations.

Unicef France has provided real data from its’ database, collected over the last three years, containing information about nearly 100,000 regular donors and their spending characteristics. Equipped with tools and data, students were asked to identify profiles of individual donor groups with specific spending and create a dashboard from these profiles, with relevant donor data (such as one-time donor, frequent contributor, size of donation, geography, and so on) that can be used for making informed decisions. In this way they enabled students to create not only a highly professional visual dashboard but also one based on real case data.

28 teams from 21 universities across the EMEA region registered for the competition, including Egypt, Germany, France, Ireland, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, South Africa, Hungary, and the UK. The students had five weeks to make their dashboard designs and presentations. Already preliminary selection was a hard nut for the team of judges, because the top four dashboards has been done on really high level, and judges were surprised by the brilliant teams entries.

On Thursday, 15th of November, when the last day of the conference was going on, top three teams were about to make their final presentations and try to persuade the jury members from UNICEF, SAP Business Analytics, and SAP University Alliances. The judges evaluated the dashboards for their usefulness and usability, as well as the teams for their skills in presenting a solution to an audience of business and IT users. One presentation was better than other and judges had really hard work while evaluating the dashboards. Brunel University included in their analysis another outsource of indicators which were great integrated in their dashboard. Second group taking the stage, was the young team of students from University of Maribor, who have focused on profiles of the donors as well on the channels thru which the donors are approached. The team came up with in-depth analysis and great proposals on improvement of strategy which would lead to increase the amount of donations. Last but not least, step on the stage the team of two students form University of Economics and Technology from Budapest. They made tremendous job and their dashboard was really “mind blowing” and the quote form one of the judges who came from SAP Business Analytics speak for itself: “This was outstanding dashboard and presentation. I can easily say that some of our customers would pay “serious money” for such dashboard.” Just before the announcement of the results, students of the University of Ludwigshafen presented interesting Sentiment Analysis with SAP HANA on case „US Presidential Elections 2012“. Right after that the team from the University of Budapest was ultimately crowned the winner of the competition, while team from UK took second and Slovenian team third place. They all have received various prizes. UNICEF has received a donation of 10.000 EUR from SAP through Sam Alkharrat, managing director of the MENA region.

SAP is determined to continue with this kind of competitions, Innojams and similar events, because they have appeared as a great success and a great opportunity for young people get acquainted with SAP solutions. It also gives the SAP a lot of insight into how the new generation of software users tackles challenges and how they uses and approaches SAP’s products.

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SAP University Alliances was founded in Germany in 1988. Today, more than 1,300 universities throughout the world participate in the program. Each year, more than 250,000 students enroll in educational courses from SAP. For more information on the program, visit the SAP University Alliances community on SAP Community Network.

SAP University Alliances CEE: Adam Dudits, adam.dudits@sap.com, SAP Hungary ; Jaka Črnivec, jaka.crnivec@sap.com, SAP Slovenia

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