Singapore – Data Innovation Challenge launched

Data Innovation Challenge launched July 18, 2013


Mr Steve LeonardCompetition provides platform for enterprises to crowd-source and develop analytics solutions.

A new platform has been launched for enterprises to crowd-source and develop analytics solutions to address complex data-driven business challenges. The Data Innovation Challenge brings together user enterprises with data providers, data scientists, ICT companies who will collaborate with research institutes and institutions of higher learning to develop proof-of-concepts and test out the prototypes or working models to address the user enterprises’ business challenges.

Launched by Mr Steve Leonard, Executive Deputy Chairman of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), on 26 June, the Data Innovation Challenge is unique in that the Singapore Government is bringing together, for the first time, cross-sector and cross-geographic public and private datasets. Through this challenge, IDA aims to garner at least 20 usable ideas or concepts and proposals and seven working prototypes which can be commercialised.

Almost 9,000 datasets have been made available at the launch of the competition, with more expected as the event gets going. These datasets cut across healthcare, transport, media and advertising, retail, manufacturing and logistics throughout the Asia Pacific region.

For a start, organisations providing datasets include the Health Promotion Board, National Environment Agency, Land Transport Authority, Metro Parking, Smart, United World College and BuuK. They are joined by three user enterprises which are offering specific business challenges and datasets for the competition.

One of these is DSM Engineering Plastics, a Dutch company which supplies high-performance engineering thermoplastic solutions and has its global headquarters in Singapore. One of the business challenges it faces is: How can analytics help predict demand and future development of engineering plastics application to improve efficiency in performance management?

Data Innovation ChallengeThe challenge brought together user enterprises, data providers, data scientists and ICT companies who will collaborate with research institutes and institutions of higher learning.

As a business-to-business company, it needs data to make crucial business decisions, said Ms Clara Lee, Business Information Director, DSM. “We are continually trying to improve our supply chain and ensure accurate inventory so that we can manage our assets well. We require the best data for us to plan ahead.”

“Taking part in the challenge will hopefully give us new insights on how to do our business better. Ultimately, if we can reduce costs, our consumers will benefit,” she added.

The second company in the Data Innovation Challenge is WPP, which is in marketing and advertising. Its business challenge is:  How can analytics help WPP deliver more effective and efficient media outcomes? For example, by harnessing public and third-party datasets, how can it improve the pricing and effectiveness of the outdoor media investments it makes on behalf of its clients?

What it boils down to for WPP is, “How can we tell our story better?” said its Regional Director Mr Ken Hsu. After getting all the data and analysing it, what should be its strategy to optimise business volume for its clients?

The third company in the Data Innovation Challenge is RedMart, an online grocery store. Its business challenge is: How can analytics, applied to public and private traffic, geospatial and other third-party datasets, help RedMart optimise the delivery routes for its current fleet of vans?

With its current operational size, having a larger fleet of vans is not an option, said RedMart’s Chief Executive Officer Mr Roger Egan. “We are fortunate that we have this opportunity to open up our data to very smart people who can find some solutions for us,” said Mr Egan. “Data is important for the obvious reason that we can trace the behaviour patterns of consumers to help us plan our routes better or find other ways to service them.”

The Data Innovation Challenge will take place in phases. These include awareness building and business challenge development, launch and publishing of user enterprise challenges, crowd-sourcing of ideas and concepts, rapid prototyping, pilots and proof-of-concepts. The winning ideas, prototypes and concepts are expected to be awarded from February 2014 onwards.

Key components of the Data Innovation Challenge

To achieve its objective, the Data Innovation Challenge has these key components:

  • Data Marketplace:
    The Data Innovation Challenge provides a data marketplace of real world datasets contributed by the industry, government and research institutes. They allow data scientists to extract value for the development of ideas, new data models and prototypes.
  • Competition platforms:
    The challenge will host online collaboration and secure platforms for data scientists based locally and globally to collaborate and compete.
  • Consultation and workshops:
    There will be workshops and guided consultations to help user enterprises refine their problems statements for their respective business analytics competitions.
  • Platforms for collaboration:
    There will be facilitated workshops, hackathons and industry networking sessions to encourage collaboration among global lead users and organisations, data scientists and infocomm industry vendors to crowd source ideas and develop prototypes for potential commercialisation.


Companies interested in being plugged into this should sign up with :

Companies interested in the ICT market in Singapore, please contact


Sectors: Digital Services, Electronics, and Technology
Countries: Singapore
Topics: Business Development and Market Research
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