Students from Mondragón Unibertsitatea studying for a degree in Business Data Analytics, a course taught on the University’s Zorrotzaurre campus, have gained an insight into the workings of the port of Bilbao in an innovative way through what they call “challenges”, which are case studies carried out in collaboration with companies or institutions. This approach first requires students to contextualise the work to be done, then to do it and, as a final step, to present the results.
In this case, 45 students, working in teams, have spent three months working alongside the Port Authority and PortLab, its innovation hub, and have drawn up a traffic forecast for 2022 for seven selected countries. To do so, the Port Authority has provided them with statistical data from the last fifteen years, and the students have used macro indicators for each country to develop a simulation programme.
As a result, the students have been able to identify some key information, such as the fact that the port of Bilbao is the main maritime gateway for the United Kingdom to the Iberian Peninsula, and that it is a port with extraordinary land connections and a deep draught to receive any type of vessel.
“The port infrastructure is a great generator of data and has enormous potential for developing high-value projects in the field of analytics. For all these reasons, we thank the Port Authority for its collaboration and support, and we hope to repeat this collaboration in the future”, a spokesperson for the university said.
Likewise, representatives of the port have admitted that “we have been impressed to see groups of 18-year-olds with a perfect understanding of the case at hand, who always defend and back-up their arguments with data, who work with a clear common focus and who, in some cases, have even put forward suggestions for improvement. It has undoubtedly been an enriching experience for both sides. The university students have got to know the port environment in a practical and innovative way, and we have got closer to them and learned together”.