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DataFest 2019

This event is over! DataFest @ Emory QTM will return in 2020.

DataFest 2019 Winners

Dobbs15, Best Insight

Allison Rose, Tanner Lewis, Sam Bickel-Barlow, Saul Forman

UGA Computer Science Team, Best Visualization

Michael Hearn, Andrew Palmer, Anna Gann, Hend Rasheed, Mina Jeong

The Uncontrolled Group, Best Use of External Data

Samantha Distler, Bella Ren, Amy Ma

Wheeler High School, Honorable Mention (Best Overall)

Morris Wan, Brian Kent, Ayush Goyal, Pranav Nedumpurath

ilovedatafest, Honorable Mention (Best Overall)

Lu Zhang, Ziru Xu, Renxuan Li, Mingxi Yu

DataFest Overview


Event Sponsors & Partners

Institute for
Quantitative Theory and Methods
Emory Center for
Digital Scholarship
Goizueta Business SchoolRainmakerASA

Your Sponsorship Makes An Enormous Difference!         

By sponsoring Datafest, you are supporting young data scientists and providing them an opportunity to experience data analysis in the wild.

Ways to Sponsor

  • Financial Contributor - We appreciate your interest in helping us grow the data science community.
  • Judge - Datafest is a competition. Judges evaluate the student presentations on creativity and technical skill, and they determine which teams win fame, glory, PRIZES, and bragging rights. 
  • Consultant - Share your expertise, interact with and mentor students, brainstorm with them, and provide statistical, computational, or application specific guidance.


While DataFest is a competition, the main goal of the event is to promote collaboration. See testimonials from past participants:

"As a result of the 2018 DataFest, we started a Technology Student Association where students work on technology problems, enter competitions (such as Emory’s DataFest).  The group has grown from the 5 who attended last year to over 30 students" — Jeff Kent; Teacher, Wheeler High School, GA
"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." — 2015 DataFest @ Emory Participant

Event Details

WHO can participate?

Any and all Emory undergraduate students with an interest in data analysis can participate. In addition, undergraduates from local colleges and universities which have agreements with QTM at Emory are encouraged to participate. 

HOW do I register?

  • Registration closed on March 20, 2019. We need a final headcount approximately 2 weeks before the event to ensure we have enough food, snacks, and volunteers to support the participants.
  • Participants from Emory must register in teams of 5. One person ("team captain") will register on behalf of everyone on their team. During registration, team captains will need to provide the first name, last name, email address, major(s, and minor if applicable), and 7-digit Emory student ID number of their teammates.
  • Students from other selected local colleges and universities with agreements from Emory will register through their University - let us know if you need help finding your representative!
  • Selected high school teams must register with their DataFest chaperone.

WHEN and WHERE is this happening?

ASA DataFest @ Emory will take place April 5-7, 2019 on Emory campus. See the DataFest Itinerary for the specific time and location details.

WHY should I get involved?

  • Gain hands-on experience with real-world data! 
  • Receive meals and snacks 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, Best Use of External Data, and Best All-Around

Registration is closed

Registration for DataFest 2019 is closed
April 5 – April 7, 2019 @ Emory Cox Hall

Pre-DataFest Workshops

Tentative Schedule

Workshop Facilitator DateLocation
Python (includes getting started topics)Jeremy Jacobson3/27/2019 6:00 pm - 8:00 pmMLB 201
Intermediate/Advanced TableauPaul Lisborg – Oldcastle3/28/2019 6:00 pm - 8:30 pmMLB 201
R – Visualization (includes  getting started topics)Zhiyun Gong3/29/2019 6:00 pm - 8:00 pmMLB 201
R – Data Wrangling (includes getting started topics)Zhiyun Gong4/1/2019 6:00 pm - 8:00 pmMLB 201
Presentation SkillsEdward Whillies Lee III - Emory Barkley Forum4/4/2019 5:00pm - 6:30pmMLB 201

DataFest @ Emory Itinerary

April 5 – April 7, 2019


Friday, April 5th Location
5:30 – 5:45 pmVolunteer Check-In and Setup Cox Hall 3rd floor
6:00 – 6:30 pmParticipant Check-InCox Hall 3rd floor
6:30 – 7:30 pmIntroduction to DataCox Hall Ballroom
7:30 pmWork begins & dinner servedCox Hall Ballroom
MidnightCox Hall Ballroom closes 
Saturday, April 6th          
9:00 amCoffee servedCox Hall Ballroom
12:30 pmLunchCox Hall Ballroom
6:30 pmDinner servedCox Hall Ballroom
MidnightCox Hall Ballroom closes 
Sunday, April 7th  
9:00 amCoffee servedCox Hall Ballroom
10:00 – 12:00 pmPresentation practiceModern Languages 201, 219, and 407
12:30 pmWork stops & Lunch servedCox Hall Ballroom
12:30 – 1:00 pmJudges Check-In and Meet n’ Greet “reception”TBD
1:00 – 3:30 pmRound 1 PresentationsCox Computing Center A & B
3:45 – 4:45 pmRound 2 PresentationsCox Hall Ballroom
4:45 – 5:15 pmJudge deliberationsCox Computing Center Fishbowl
5:15 – 5:45 pmAwards and feedbackCox Hall Ballroom
6:00 - 6:30 pmParticipant & Judge SocialCox Hall Ballroom


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 5th year QTM has hosted DataFest Emory. Our first year participating was in 2014. You can see pictures from past DataFests throughout this page!

While DataFest™ is a competition, the main goal of the event is to promote collaboration. Sharpen your skills by participating in DataFest!

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 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. Selected 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! 

  • $40 Amazon Gift card to each team member for Best Insight, Best Use of External Data, Best Visualization, and Best Overall (Judge's choice).


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