The Raymond A. Mason School of Business at William & Mary continues its winning streak thanks to an exceptional student case competition team! The Master of Science in Data Analytics (MSBA) student team from William & Mary, comprising Jamie Kim, Andrew Lagattuta, Clay McCollum, and Fei Wu, emerged as the top-performing team and the victors of the 2023 Data Analytics Competition for the second year as announced by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS). This highly anticipated annual event is a dynamic platform for CSBS to engage with the academic community and foster collaboration. The competition, held virtually on May 4, challenged participants to develop robust data analytics models that could assess the potential impact of the recent surge in interest rates on banks and provide valuable insights on navigating such scenarios successfully.
Tom Siems, the visionary CSBS chief economist and the driving force behind this annual competition, expressed his enthusiasm for the event, highlighting its transformative potential. Siems noted, "The CSBS Data Analytics Competition offers college students a remarkable opportunity to employ data analytics solutions in tackling real-world banking dilemmas. By merging banking research and data analytics, the competition equips students with practical skills and introduces them to potential careers in banking and financial regulation."
Under the expert guidance of their esteemed faculty advisor, Professor Rachel Chung, the team leveraged an advanced Artificial Intelligence neural network model to meticulously examine the historical correlations between the Federal Funds Rate and banks' earnings.
"This remarkable achievement marks the second time a William & Mary team has secured first place in a CSBS Data Analytics Competition. The level of competition was truly formidable, with esteemed teams from renowned institutions such as Carnegie Mellon, Georgetown, and UC Irvine vying for the top spot," emphasized Professor Chung. She further highlighted the team's exceptional creativity in integrating multiple data sources and subjecting their models to rigorous testing. Of utmost significance, according to Chung, was their profound expertise in the finance and banking industries, coupled with their insightful understanding of how to harness AI modeling skills within the banking domain effectively. Despite the challenges posed by a demanding semester, Chung expressed immense pride in their unwavering dedication, and hard work exhibited throughout the competition.
Reflecting on the experience, Clay McCollum, MSBA '23, expressed his excitement about applying the skills he had acquired in class to a real-world problem, highlighting the value of their education in solving practical business challenges. McCollum further praised his exceptional teammates, Jamie, Andrew, and Fei, for their remarkable contributions. Together, they consistently sought opportunities to push the boundaries of their analysis and challenged themselves to delve deeper.
Beyond examining relationships, the William & Mary team's model also successfully predicted the impact of rising interest rates on earnings. In recognition of their outstanding achievements, the team will be awarded a well-deserved prize of $5,000, honoring their first-place position.
It is worth noting that CSBS's Data Analytics Task Force provides oversight and guidance for the annual CSBS Data Analytics Competitions, which first commenced in 2019. For more information on the competition, interested individuals can visit CSBS.