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Darla Moore School of Business

  • Image of Seoyoung Yoon in the doorway of the Moore School Data Lab

Mastering data

Dual-degree business analytics student places in national competition

Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) dual-degree candidate (December ’22 MSBA expected graduation) Seoyoung Yoon recently experienced business analytics in a real-world setting. Yoon was named one of eight finalists for the Wells Fargo Campus Analytics Challenge, held virtually for all U.S. degree candidates.

Yoon, who is enrolled in the dual-degree program in financial technology from Sungkyunkwan University in Korea and her MSBA from the Moore School, said the Wells Fargo Campus Analytics Challenge was a great opportunity for her to experience the role of a data scientist in the financial industry and explore how artificial intelligence intersects with data and algorithms to help machines make more accurate imitations of human intelligence.

For the challenge, participants were asked to build a model that predicts bank transaction categories, given the transaction descriptions. After training the model with the labeled data, participants had to classify the unlabeled data into 10 categories. 

For the challenge, Yoon said she spent a lot of time understanding the data structure and its characteristics. She also says it was her first time correlating natural human language as it relates to artificial intelligence processing. 

"I have worked hard to refine my analytics skills to become a data scientist and am so grateful that my efforts have come to fruition," Yoon said. "I am in my last semester before graduation and winning gives me confidence and conviction in pursuing a career as a data scientist in the future. Also, I appreciate the Moore School and Sungkyunkwan Business School who have given me an opportunity to join their programs."    

Yoon said she encourages students to enter the business analytics challenges like the Wells Fargo one.

“These competitions are an amazing opportunity for you to learn and experience a role as a data scientist in a real-world scenario,” she said. “The sponsoring corporations like Wells Fargo benefit as well by collecting creative and meaningful ideas in the bank transaction categorization models participants create. These ideas can help Wells Fargo develop better customer tools for organizing and identifying customers’ finances.”

Yoon said she has had an interest in financial data science since she was an undergraduate at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, Korea. In her senior year, she realized she wanted to combine her domain knowledge in finance with the technological and analytical skills needed for a data scientist. She chose the financial technology degree from Sungkyunkwan University in Korea and her MSBA from the Moore School so she could enhance skills in all of her interest areas.

“The dual-degree program was the perfect fit for me as it provides a multi-disciplinarian education in business analytics, computer science, statistics and finance,” Yoon said. “Diverse lectures and data-intensive projects have allowed me to build proficiency and competency as a data scientist. I have learned various related topics from applied econometrics to advanced data analysis such as machine learning and deep learning. I have been trained to analyze and translate data into creative solutions and find meaningful insights.” 

In the future, Yoon said she’d like to be a data scientist developing “digital strategies for financial sectors to provide quality services for customers and extract valuable insights from data to help them in data-driven decision-making. As the fourth industrial revolution has ushered in an epoch, a digital transformation based on data has become increasingly crucial.”

Yoon is in one of the first cohorts to enroll in the Moore School’s Master of Science in Business Analytics program, which launched in fall 2021. The MSBA’s inaugural class graduating in May 2022 had a 94 percent reported job placement rate and an average reported salary of $87,490 as of August 2022.

-Sydney Hankinson

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.