DataFest 2017 Nearly Doubles in Size

ASA DataFest Logo

April 5, 2017

The 2017 edition of CADS DataFest, Miami's data analysis competition organized by the American Statistical Association, begins Friday, April 7. Teams of student competitors will explore and analyze specific data problems over the weekend before finally presenting their findings to an open audience and a panel of industry judges. DataFest is a university-wide effort hosted by CADS to bring together the data science community.

"Last year's competition was a huge success, but this year we've nearly doubled the number of students who are competing, with 89 in 22 teams from Miami, Bowling Green State University, and the University of Cincinnati," said L. Allison Jones-Farmer, professor and Van Andel Chair of Analytics and faculty director of CADS.

The intense competition officially begins in the Farmer School of Business on Friday at 8 pm, with students working through the weekend until Sunday at 11:30 am. The final presentations before the judges will begin as a 3-round process at 2 pm, with awards announced at 3:30 pm.

Six expert judges will be traveling to Oxford to represent industry leaders IBM, EY, Cardinal Health, Cleveland Clinic, AllState, and Procter & Gamble. Joined by a faculty judge from Purdue University, they will judge student presentations and award cash prizes for first ($1000), second ($750), and third ($500) place.

"The faculty judge represents Miami's collaboration with other universities hosting DataFest across the country," said Jones-Farmer. "Our own representatives, assistant professor of statistics Thomas Fisher and visiting assistant professor of information systems and analytics Jean-Paul Baldwin, visited Purdue for their competition last week."

In addition, six other professionals from the companies listed above will donate their time this weekend to support the students as consultants during the event.

Procter & Gamble is sponsoring CADS DataFest with a $10,000 grant from its Higher Education Foundation.

DataFest was founded in 2011 at UCLA. This year, there are 33 university hosts of DataFest in three countries: the U.S., Canada, and Germany. DataFest's first weekend this year was March 24-26 at three schools: Grand Valley State University, Rochester Institute of Technology, and Columbia University. The final weekend will be May 5-7 at Queens College (CUNY), UCLA, University of Toronto, and University of Waterloo.

The Miami event is made possible through the CADS partners, which include IBM, EY, Cardinal Health, Allstate, Cleveland Clinic, and the Sheskey Family Foundation. Google and DataCamp are nationwide DataFest sponsors.

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