S&P Capital IQ, a business unit of McGraw Hill Financial, Inc., and New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) co-sponsored the first annual Big Data Visualization Contest — a competition that immerses undergraduates in the high-stakes world of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) by challenging them to pitch hypothetical acquisition targets using cutting-edge research, analytics, and data visualization tools available on S&P Capital IQ’s desktop platform. All participating students were evaluated for the opportunity to become an S&P Capital IQ intern.
The contest marked the first time that S&P Capital IQ incorporated the use of its desktop platform into a joint business and technology challenge for college students. S&P Capital IQ president, Lou Eccleston, was the keynote speaker at Innovation Day, adding an exciting new dimension to the annual event.
At NJIT’s annual Innovation Day event, three teams were highlighted for outstanding work, with one team winning the grand prize – iPad Airs.
Final judging was led by CTO Bob Coppola and Len Langsdorf, Head of the IQ Lab, with assistance from business professors and angel investors in the technology space. President Lou Eccleston delivered the keynote speech, and many employees were on site to support the students and provide them with last-minute tips.
The winning team of six students used a mix of financial & market data, key developments, and investment research obtained on the S&P Capital IQ platform to identify Trulia, an online real-estate marketplace, as a good possible acquisition target for Google. The team, consisting of both juniors and seniors with majors ranging from Accounting to Civil Engineering, also explored potential M&A targets in the connected home, natural language processing, advertising, and robotics industries.
Students offered a lot of great feedback about the program, including, “…it was educational in that it taught us to find the most efficient way to tell a story and portray our message…the judges gave us valuable feedback…all the judges were excellent…” and “…[using] S&P Capital IQ’s database gave me more insight into what is used in the real world.”
Bob Coppola remarked at the event, “Not only did the level of student participation and faculty support far surpass our expectations, but we’ve been inspired and energized by the participants’ enthusiasm, creativity and focus. We see this as the beginning of a strong relationship with NJIT as well as an investment in the future – one that benefits both the innovative leaders of tomorrow and our own company in so many significant ways.”
Lou spoke to the more than 200 attendees about how the need for talent and intellectual capital in companies is evolving. ”When talent is allowed to flourish, it drives outstanding performance within organizations. Though that has always been the case, in today’s fast-moving global environment, it’s truer than ever,” he said.