Carolina Data Challenge

The Carolina Data Challenge, a data science hackathon that takes place annually at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, brought together 261 competitors racing to submit projects within 24 hours. The Institute was represented by the team of Malia Dunn-Reier, Namrata Jumani, Conor Lynch, and Jeron Russell, who placed 2nd at the 2020 event.

“Data Masters,” the Institute’s team, competed in the humanities track, working off of World Economic Outlook data from the International Monetary Fund. The four connected economic and internet access data from across the world to identify relationships between a country’s internet exposure and economic development. They utilized R for data cleaning, data wrangling, and forecasting. To present their findings, they built dynamic dashboards in Tableau. 

For the four of them, applying the skills learned in the classroom on a time-sensitive project was a valuable experience. Utilizing the knowledge gained so far in the program, they pushed themselves to try unique solutions and keep the focus on impactful insight. Malia, Namrata, and Conor were teamed together for the Summer II semester, and their natural team chemistry inspired them to compete in the data challenge together with Jeron. The Institute’s focus on teamwork and group projects was an extreme advantage when working under a time constraint to achieve multiple goals. This was their first time competing in a data challenge, and they were excited to push their capabilities and perform meaningful analyses. 

View their findings here.

Columnists: Malia Dunn-Reier, Namrata Jumani, Conor Lynch, and Jeron Russell