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ASA DataFest

What is DataFest?

ASA DataFest™ is a data analysis competition where teams of up to five students attack a large, complex, and surprise dataset over a weekend. Your job is to represent your school by finding and communicating insights into these data. The teams that impress the judges will win prizes as well as glory for their school. Everyone will have a great experience, lots of food, and fun!

DataFest is also 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.

DataFest is co-organized by the departments of:

  • Statistical Science at Duke University
  • Statistics and Operations Research at UNC
  • Statistics at NCSU

ASA DataFest 2021 was held online April 9-11.
ASA DataFest 2022 was held at Duke April 1-3 (Link to winners).
ASA DataFest 2023 was held at Duke March 1-3 (Link to winners).



While being a competition, the main goal of the event is to promote collaboration. Here are some testimonials from past participants:

It was a great experience, with a fun and interesting challenge. One of my favorite parts is how varied the presentations and projects from each team are. I love learning about ways in which others looked at and analyzed the same problem/data.

DataFest was an awesome experience. To me, the best part was working in a team of friends that I usually hung out with, but had not had a chance to work together intensively on a project. We enjoyed analyzing the situations and solving problems together for our client. At the end of the day, we just got to know each other better. It was also fun to interact with other teams to explore other approaches while keeping in mind that we were in competition. The fact that we were given a huge amount of data really challenges us to come up with creative and practical approaches. Another important part was the presentation. Every team had to explain well to the judges their objectives and solutions. Our team won the Best Visualization award which is really awesome. Lastly, the food was fantastic.