Third Annual DataFest Registration Now Open!

Written by Heather Bonsky, CADS student intern

The Center for Analytics and Data Science (CADS) is hosting their 3rd annual DataFest, Miami's data analysis competition, on April 6-8. The event is a collaborative effort of the Farmer School of Business, the College of Engineering and Computing, and the College of Arts and Science.

A team of students crunches numbers during DataFest 2017.

DataFest is a weekend-long, hackathon-like competition presented by the American Statistical Association (ASA). Throughout the weekend, students analyze large, complex data sets from industry and present their findings to a panel of industry judges.

Last spring, 88 students from Miami University, Bowling Green State University, and the University of Cincinnati competed at DataFest. These students were given two gigabytes of tall data from Expedia and spent the weekend cleaning, analyzing, and visualizing it.

At the end of the weekend, representatives from Allstate, Cardinal Health, Cleveland Clinic, EY, IBM, and Procter & Gamble traveled to Oxford to judge the competition.

The winning teams of DataFest 2017 made it through three rounds of judging including a white paper, semi-final, and final presentations. Cash prizes were awarded for first ($1000), second ($750), and third ($500) place:

2017 First Place Team (left to right): Adam Levitt, Vincent Tong, Chris Paxton, Seth Levitt, Ryan Wiedwald

  • 1st Place - We R 100% Confident:
    • Adam Levitt
    • Chris Paxton
    • Ryan Wiedwald
    • Seth Levitt
    • Vincent Tong
  • 2nd Place - BGSU-C:
    • Sarah Hercules
    • Melissa Dureiko
    • Monica Matticoli
  • 3rd Place - Data Scrubs...the SQL:
    • Ben Smith
    • Bob Krueger
    • Bri Clements
    • Katherine Shockey
    • Robert Garrett

After the weekend-long competition, all of the competitors noted that they learned techniques that could be applied to class or professional work, with 93% of them saying that they would recommend DataFest to a friend.

"DataFest was a great experience," said masters of accountancy and analytics co-major Seth Levitt. "I enjoyed working with teammates to define a problem, develop meaningful insights, and present our findings to a panel of expert judges."

CADS is excited to expand its reach and invite teams from Xavier University, College of Wooster, and Northern Kentucky University to compete in the 2018 DataFest. This year, DataFest is sponsored by Procter & Gamble and Worldpay, formerly known as Vantiv.

This event would not be possible without continued support from CADS and ASA partners, which include Allstate, Cardinal Health, Cleveland Clinic, EY, Fifth Third Bank, IBM, the Sheskey Family Foundation, and Google.

Students can learn more about the event or register to compete by visiting the DataFest website.