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DataFest at NC State

DataFest at NC State coming back to campus Spring 2024!

About DataFest

The American Statistical Association (ASA) DataFest™ is a celebration of data in which undergraduate student teams work for a three-day weekend to find and share meaning in a large, rich, and complex dataset. The Data Science Academy began hosting ASA DataFest™ at NC State in 2022 in collaboration with the Department of Statistics.

DataFest at NC State

ASA DataFest™ at NC State is open to all Undergraduate students at NC State. 

Graduate students may not compete in the event but are encouraged to sign up as a Mentor if interested. Mentors are welcome!

There is no fee to participate.

Students compete in teams of 3 to 5. You may form your own team prior to the event, or you may ask to be placed on a team. We encourage you to create teams of individuals from different disciplines because you will benefit from having team members of diverse backgrounds and skills. Final projects are limited to 2-3 slides, so make your content count.


  • Friday, April 5, 2024, 5:30 pm-10:00 pm
  • Saturday, April 6, 2024, 9:00 am-10:00 pm
  • Sunday, April 7, 2024, 9:00 am-4:00 pm


Each individual participating in the ASA DataFest™ at NC State must submit a registration. If you form your own team, you may include each member of your team, including the team name on the form. If you have not formed a team, you will have the chance on the registration form to request placement on a team. Registration is limited to the first 50 people!

Volunteer/Mentor Registration

While Graduate students can not compete in ASA DataFest™ at NC State, we strongly encourage them to volunteer as a mentor during the event! Please complete the Mentor Registration Form.

Mentors do not need to have specialized training in statistics, they will be thought partners for teams if they get stuck to help move them along.

Event Details

DataFest at NC State is a 3-day event hosted during the Spring semester. Participants are expected to be present for the majority of the event. Please plan accordingly.

Data and Visualization workshops are offered through the NC State University Libraries. They offer many good examples of data visualization, data wrangling, and R if you want more information go to Data and Visualization Workshops. They are free. These workshops fill up fast. If you are not able to sign up this year, make sure to check out the workshops in the future.

Mentors will be available throughout the weekend to help you as you work through the data. Make sure to follow @NCStateDSA on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. 

Note that you need to be present for the majority of the weekend to participate. You are permitted to leave for important prior obligations such as jobs, courses, or performances. Please let the organizers know if you will need to be absent during the weekend.

  • Before downloading the dataset, you must sign the Non-Disclosure Agreement by agreeing to the terms of use and entering your name and email address. At the end of the DataFest, delete all data from thumb drives, hard drives, etc. The data are sensitive.
  • Should members of your team drop out at the last minute, you may be merged with another team that is also missing members.
  • There will be friendly Mentors present. Feel free to ask anything. This is not an exam, but a collaborative competition. Do not expect the Mentors to write code for you, do data management, etc. They are there to help point you in the right direction, but you’re responsible for getting there on your own.

Each team must present a short 5-minute presentation summarizing their findings to a panel of judges comprised of faculty and professionals from a variety of fields. Presentations are judged based on overall success in a specific area. Feedback will be given to each team that includes one reason why they were selected for that award, one outstanding comment, and one area of consideration for improvement. Presentations are judged based on:

  • Data Communication Award
  • Data Visualization Award
  • Interdisciplinary Award
  • Connections Award
  • Ethical Issues Award
  • Data Storytelling Award
  • Data Science Analytics Award
  • Uncertainty Quantification Award
  • Judges Award

Judging will begin on Sunday at 1:05 pm. The presentation and judging schedule is as follows: 

  • 12:00 pm deadline for all submissions
  • 12:05 pm – 1:05 pm Lunch 
  • 1:15 pm – 2:15 pm Presentations (3-minute pause between each presentation, so judges have time to record their thoughts)
  • 2:25 pm – 3:50 pm- Judges deliberations 
  • 4:00 pm – Awards 
  • 3:15 pm – Closing remarks

Teams will have 5 minutes and 3 slides to make their case. You will be provided a rubric to take notes on to help keep teams organized. It’s strongly recommended that you make note of teams that are especially strong as you’re watching the presentations so that the deliberation conversation can be as efficient as possible. 

Bringing DataFest to NC State

In 2022, the Data Science Academy (DSA) worked with Herle McGowan (Statistics) to bring a national weekend data competition to Raleigh. NC State’s first DataFest event began, with the university as an official host site for the American Statistical Association (ASA) DataFest!

Chanel Carrell, the DSA’s Program Specialist, organized and ran DataFest @ NC State. Throughout the weekend, she was available to coordinate the space and activities. With her guidance, the DSA is looking forward to continuing to be a DataFest host.

Chanel Carrell and Ray Levy at the 2022 DataFest @ NC State event.
Chanel Carrell, left, and Ray Levy chat during DataFest @ NC State. / Image: Charles Dickens Photography