Data Derby 2020


Data Derby Competition Overview

The theme of this year’s competition is the analytics of environmental data. 

Students will form a team of 1-5. There are two divisions of the competition: Novice and Experienced levels. Students in one team should be at the same level. An example of experienced level could be students with two or more of the following experiences: having taken or currently taking an upper division statistics course, having taken or currently taking a machine learning course, coding statistical routines in a programming language, relevant internship/job, or at graduate level in relevant field.

On April 18th, each student team will do a PowerPoint presentation to groups of judges. Each team will have about 5 minutes for the presentation and about 5 minutes for judge questions. The top five teams from each level will be chosen to do a second round presentation to the whole audience, and the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places will be selected for each division. Each team will need to bring a laptop to the event. At least one group of judges will be a technical audit where each team will present their procedure or process used to derive their conclusions.

Data Derby Minnesota

Students (undergraduate and graduate) from all Minnesota colleges and universities enrolled in any major, and especially from information technology, computer science, management information systems, business/management, mathematics, and statistics-related programs.  Basically anyone with a passion for being a data detective!

Beginning in March student teams gain access to the questions and datasets. Teams have 5 weeks to work on a comprehensive data story addressing all challenge questions. Teams are premitted to use additional, freely accessible datasets of their choosing. On the day of the Data Derby, your team will present your data story to industry experts and faculty members serving as judges.

Access to the Datathon challenge questions and instructions to download the data sets will be emailed to registered participants on March 16th.  Contact Dr. Janice Aanenson at if you do not receive this in time.

Requisite Knowledge/Skills
The Data Derby challenge events provide opportunities to showcase your ability to address data challenges as you see fit.  Programming or SQL knowledge is helpful but not essential to winning in the Data Derby.  You may use any use any openly available tool or application including:

  • Spreadsheets
  • Statistical packages
  • Common programming language (such as Java, Python, R, and SQL)
  • Visualization tools (such as Tableau, R, and SAP) packages
  • Common Office Productivity Tools (such as Microsoft Office Suite)

Interested in serving as a judge? 
Data science and analytics professionals are invited to serve as judges and have first-hand access to top talent across Minnesota.  Educators may contribute use this as a professional development opportunity and contribute as judges (you may serve as a judge even if you are a team faculty advocate since you’d be recused from judging team (s) from your institution).

Volunteer by emailing Dr. Janice Aanenson at – traveling judges are offered free lodging.

Data Derby 2020

Visit Group: College Students»


Saturday, April 18th, 2020 from 10:00 to 5:00 (US/Central)