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ST Unitas to Become Edutech Market Navigator
By utilizing AI and big data technology, the company is confident it will lead the edutech market
We are in the golden age of AI. Artificial intelligence is currently impacting all areas of our lives. Even in the education industry, which is relatively conservative, investment in AI is continuously growing. Education companies are aggressively securing their technological competencies by recruiting AI experts as well as signing MOUs with education startups or acquiring them.
Nevertheless it is also true that developing edutech services using AI technology is not an easy task. This is due the difficulties in gathering optimal data required for training and advancing artificial intelligence. Although Watson, the world’s first AI doctor developed by IBM, received global attention, as the computer system was based on medical data of Westerners the same system could not be applied to Asians, which emphasizes the importance of data.
In the education industry, in order for AI-powered education services to be successful in the market, securing quality data is essential. Among South Korean education companies, ST Unitas maintains high quality data regarding education. Different from traditional education companies which grew based on its offline academies or home-study materials, ST Unitas offered edutech services online since it was first established in 2010, enabling it to accumulate various data on study patterns of students.
■ Data analysis on students achieving high scores within short amount of time
ST Unitas is well known for its test prep services and products for public servant exams under the brand name, Gongdangi. The name of the brand is a combination of two Korean words, namely Gong for public and dangi which means short term, implying that its products and services will enable customers to pass the public servant exam within the shortest time possible. ST Unitas collected expansive amount of data to develop the optimal curriculum to help customers further reduce their test prep period. The company gathered data by conducting an eight-month survey on approximately 1,000 people preparing for the public servant exam, and analyzed the data of 27,833 candidates who passed the exam.
Questions of the actual tests and the tendency of exams were not the only areas of analysis. The following various atypical data was analyzed to develop “high scoring study methodology within short term”; ▲ the study amount of candidates who passed the exam or achieved high scores within a short period of time, ▲ study methodology and in what order subjects were studied, ▲the number of hours spent studying alone without online classes or study groups, ▲areas in which candidates felt were difficult.
Once the product was released, word of mouth on high scoring study methodology within short term spread among students preparing for civil servant exams in South Korea. As a result, the number of users increased leading to more relevant data. ST Unitas has since used such data to develop numerous products which forecast the test result of candidates and provide AI-powered educational services such as Stella.
Stella is a service developed based on hundreds and thousands of data collected from users of Gongdangi. The AI-powered service used such data of how students studied to identify weak points of each user so that more focus could be placed in such areas. Students preparing for public exams were enthusiastic, and according to tests carried out on actual candidates for grade 9 public exams in South Korea, they actually scored higher by 4 to 10 points across 3 subjects (namely Korean language, English, Korean history) than those who did not use Stella. Such score difference in passing the exams is critical, demonstrating how effective the product is.
The CEO of ST Unitas, Sunghyuk Yoon, remarked, “Data was collected and analyzed with a very clear target in mind which was to develop a service which enables users to pass the exam within short period of time. As a result, among all products, we have the highest number of users for this product, and this creates a virtuous cycle as we are able to collect more quality data from our users.”
He went on to add, “ST Unitas is steadily gathering data related to learning from all age groups, starting from childhood up to adulthood. The company is quite proud of the data quality, which is incomparable to that of other competitors.”