DataFest at Emory 2018

DataFest Overview

Event Sponsors & Partners

Institute for Quantitative Theory & MethodsEmory Center For Digital ScholarshipCMBC-small.pngGBS_hz_smaller.pngDataFest-sponsor_annuitas.pngmailchimp.pngAmerican Airlines logo.png      Anthem Inc logo.png   First_Data_logo_small.png

Are you interested in partnering with QTM for #ASADatafest at Emory? 

We have filled our judge spaces! If you are intersted in partnering with us for DataFest™, please see the volunteer and sponsorship links below.
If you're interested in volunteering your technical expertise during the event, click here.
If you're interested in sponsorship, click here.

Event Details

WHO can participate?

Any and all undergraduate students with an interest in data analysis can participate. You can register as a team of 3-5 or as an individual (and we will find you a team). Please register to participate no later than March 11, 2018. This year, we are also accepting high school teams. If you are a high school student, please register directly with your school's DataFest representative.

WHEN and WHERE is this happening?

ASA DataFest @ Emory will take place Friday, March 23 - Sunday, March 25, 2018 on Emory campus. See the DataFest Schedule (next section) for specific time and location details.

WHY should I get involved?

  • Receive a free t-shirt and meals, snacks, and beverages each day of the competition
  • Compete for fame, glory, and nerd bragging rights
  • Network with fellow college students, university faculty, and business representatives
  • CASH PRIZES to winning teams in three categories: Best Insight, Best Data Visualization, and Best Use of External Data

Students working at Datafest

DataFest @ Emory Schedule

Friday, Mar 23

6:00pm-11:59pm || Math & Sciences Building, Room E208

6:00pm - 6:30pm Sign-In
6:30pm - 7:30pm Introduction to the dataset
7:30pm Dinner served

Saturday, Mar 24

9:00am - 11:59pm || White Hall, Room 207

9:00am Breakfast served
12:30pm Lunch served
6:30pm Dinner served

Sunday, Mar 25

9:00am - 5:00pm || White Hall, Room 207


Breakfast served
12:30pm Stop work; lunch served
1:00pm - 4:00pm Presentations and judges deliberations
4:00pm - 5:00pm Awards Ceremony

Campus Map for DataFest - White Hall.png

Notes on logistics:

Meals and snacks will be provided all weekend long. Faculty and staff will be on site for assistance all weekend long. We will stay on campus Friday and Saturday night pretty much as late as you want to, but we will leave by midnight.

Current informaton about other participating institutions can be found here.

Having fun at datafest

Pre-Event Workshops

In order to give students the tools to succeed, we will host two pre-DataFest™ workshops during Spring 2018.

Data Visualization

March 5, 2018 || 7:30pm-9:00pm ||CALLAWAY 103
An important part of DataFest is communicating your findings to a panel of judges. A picture is worth 1,000 words, and optimally visualizing your data can make all the difference.

Data Reshaping

March 6, 2018 || 7:30pm-9:00pm || CALLAWAY 103
Data Scientists spend more than half their time cleaning, organizing, and preparing data for analysis. While this workshop cannot cover all relevant topics, this workshop will provide an overview of some of the essentials with an eye towards DataFest.


Do students have to stay the entire time?

No. You may come and go as you please. However, you are not allowed to work on the project except while you are on DataFest™ grounds, and at least 3 members of your team must attend the introduction on Friday night.

What were past DataFest™ competitions at Emory like?

This is the 4th year QTM has hosted DataFest Emory. Our first year participating was in 2014. You can see pictures from past DataFests scattered throughout this page.

While DataFest™ is a competition, the main goal of the event is to promote collaboration. Here is a testimonial from a DataFest™ 2015 participant at Emory:

"Datafest was a great opportunity to experience what real world data analysis entails. By getting the chance to work on a large company dataset, Datafest participants can understand the challenges and rewards of discovering insights from big data. Working in teams in Datafest also promoted a great sense of meaning and collaboration in our analysis work. Datafest was a rewarding experience that provides lots of help along the way so I encourage anyone interested in data analysis to come and participate."

Anything else I should know about DataFest™? 

DataFest™ is a great opportunity to gain experience that employers are looking for. Having worked on a data analysis problem at this scale will certainly help make you a good candidate for any position that involves analysis and critical thinking, and it will provide a concrete example to demonstrate your experience during interviews.

What do I need to compete?

A laptop and familiarity with tools for data analysis (there is no limitation on which software you use) and an enthusiasm for data. You may also find it useful to bring scrap paper, a pencil, and/or a graphing calculator.

What are the rules of the competition?

The rules are very simple:

  • Teams must be composed of 3-5 undergraduate members. We will also be allowing high school students this year, but high schoolers will form their own teams and register through their schools.
  • Team members can come and go as they please but all work has to be done on-site. A steady supply of food, beverage, and candy make it more inviting to stay. Students have gone full steam into the wee hours of the night/morning, or just worked business hours. It's up to you!
  • The data may not leave the competition site. The data we work with is proprietary to a real, live company.
  • It's a competition, but a friendly one, so information sharing between teams is not only allowed but highly encouraged. Official DataFest consultants (grad students, faculty, etc.) will also be around throughout the weekend to help with any questions you might have. However, you may not get help from people who are not involved in DataFest.

When you say prizes, what do you mean?

We're talking about cash prizes for your team! 

  • Team with Best Insights wins $350
  • Team with Best Visualization wins $300
  • Team with Best use of external data wins $300


Please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions. Simply email and we will answer your questions as soon as possible.

Get energized about data!!