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COVID-19 relief innovation takes 2022 SAS Hackathon crown

During the month-long 2022 SAS Hackathon, a team of Indonesian data scientists and technology enthusiasts developed a solution now being implemented in Jakarta. Team JAKSTAT’s platform, powered by machine learning, optimises relief distribution to the region’s small and medium enterprises that drive Indonesia’s economy.

“Optimising the allocation of COVID-19 relief is a challenge faced the world over,” says Einar Halvorsen, Global Hackathon Lead, SAS. 

“JAKSTAT’s hack isn’t just an impressive work of innovation in and of itself; it sparks innovation amongst Jakarta’s entrepreneurs and advances economic resiliency for the entire country. We’re thrilled to recognise JAKSTAT as the overall winner of the SAS Hackathon.”  

Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest economy, entered a recession in 2020. From food merchants to motorcycle repair shops, 97% of Indonesia’s workforce are employed at Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), making COVID-19 aid to this sector crucial. Jakarta’s government needed to prioritise strategic investment, giving the most relief to the MSMEs whose growth would enhance economic stability.

In 2022, team JAKSTAT entered the all-digital SAS Hackathon, where they and all competing teams received their mentor, networking and collaborative opportunities, and a learning portal with educational resources. The team, led by Muhammad Iqbal of SAS partner StarCore Analytics, used AI and data modelling to empower Jakarta’s government to make a decision on which types of businesses to send the most aid.

In COVID-19’s wake, more than 287,000 MSMEs joined JakPreneur, a collaborative government platform that links entrepreneurs and stakeholders and encourages MSME resilience. JAKSTAT leveraged this data to begin their project. 

JAKSTAT used SAS Viya to cover the end-to-end steps of the machine learning lifecycle. They began by collecting and validating data from JakPreneur, and then integrated other data sources to provide a unified view of Jakarta’s MSME landscape.

The team applied AI to identify MSMEs clusters and used automated data streaming and scoring for real-time response. In collaboration with economists and the provincial government of Jakarta, JAKSTAT took their data-backed profiles of enterprises to answer real-world questions. By inputting an investment in rupiahs into one type of business, a user could see an output of expected GDP growth, all rendered inaccessible graphics.

“The scope, timeliness and impact of this project demonstrates how, with the right skillset and the right tools, data can be transformed into real-world solutions and value,” says Marinela Profi, data scientist and Global Product Marketing Manager for AIA and Analytics at SAS. 

“This is what the SAS Hackathon is all about: connecting practitioners with best-in-class analytics and AI tools. Team JAKSTAT anticipates this solution could be implemented in cities the world over, so we may be seeing reverberations of their ingenuity for years to come.”

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