News release

RSM Announces Winners of Data Mining Fore Insights Innovation Competition

Nov 11, 2020

Kimberly Bartok, Enterprise Public Relations Leader,, 212.372.1239
Andreia DeVries, Enterprise Public Relations Manager,, 954.449.8096
for media use only 

RSM Announces Winners of Data Mining Fore Insights Innovation Competition

CHICAGO – (November 11, 2020) – RSM US LLP (“RSM”) – the nation’s leading provider of audit, tax and consulting services focused on the middle market – is pleased to announce the winners of its inaugural Data Mining Fore Insights (DMFI), an innovation competition centered on PGA Tour events, Birdies Fore Love charities and common analytics tools and techniques.

In July, 32 teams made up of 145 RSM participants embarked on the competition and pursued the opportunity to collaborate with fellow data enthusiasts. Twenty-one teams persevered through the summer and submitted their predictions for the total number of birdies or better across the first five PGA TOUR events of the 2020-21 season, using tools like Excel, Power BI, R, Python and Alteryx to submit their predictions. From there, three teams per tier were selected to move forward to present their findings.

A panel of qualified judges reviewed the finalists’ presentations during a series of webcasts and selected winners based on creativity of presentation, clarity of presentation and demonstration of methodology, data sources, outcomes and lessons learned. Employees were also able to vote for their favorite presentation at the conclusion of each webcast.

This year’s DMFI winners are:

  • Overall winning team: Kolten Safron, Alula Zeryihun, Audrey Forrest, George Casey
  • Advanced tier winning team: Kolten Safron, Alula Zeryihun, Audrey Forrest, George Casey
  • Intermediate tier winning team: Curtis Fenton, David Litzau, Cayla Mabie, Abhi Mathews, Michael Palarz
  • Beginner tier winning team: Anthony Donoghue, Nicole Knudtson, Jalen Van Wyk, Lindsay Helmers

“Data Mining Fore Insights is a microcosm of what we aspire to be for our clients, our communities and each other,” said Melissa Toledo, client & market insights senior director with RSM US LLP and executive co-sponsor of the competition. “This year’s competition created a forum where people from around the U.S. and Canada, who in many cases had never met or worked together before, collaborated and indulged their curiosity by learning about golf and building their familiarity with different analytical tools and techniques. And they did all of it for the chance to help Birdies Fore Love charities.  As a judge and executive co-sponsor, I have been energized and gratified to witness the passion and output we’ve seen from all our participating teams.”

For the advanced, intermediate and beginner tier winners, a donation of $5,000 will be made on each team’s behalf by the RSM US Foundation to a 2020 Birdies Fore Love charitable organization of their choice. The overall winning team will receive a trip to the 2021 RSM Classic.

“This competition underscores RSM’s dedication to pursuing innovation excellence," said Joel Cohen, RSM Canada partner and executive co-sponsor of DMFI. “In today’s digitally driven world, it’s more important than ever that we collaborate with our teams to further enhance our skills related to data analytics, relationship-building and predictive modeling. This competition served as a real-life example of the creative, powerful and value-added insights that RSM can harness and deliver to our clients. We’re very proud of our winners and all of our participants for their impressive work.”

To learn more about RSM’s innovation efforts, visit our website.


RSM is the leading provider of professional services to the middle market. The clients we serve are the engine of global commerce and economic growth, and we are focused on developing leading professionals and services to meet their evolving needs in today’s ever-changing business landscape. Our purpose is to instill confidence in a world of change, empowering our clients and people to realize their full potential.

RSM US LLP is the U.S. member of RSM International, a global network of independent assurance, tax and consulting firms with 64,000 people in 120 countries. For more information, visit, like us on Facebook, follow us on X and/or connect with us on LinkedIn.