Solving real-world challenges with data
The Datathon was an excellent opportunity for those passionate about analyzing data and applying insights into real-world challenges. Working in teams of three to four, participants took full advantage of their computational skills by using software tools and program languages such as SAS, Python, R, and SQL.
In this Datathon, participants were tasked with creating proposals for reducing traffic incidents in Toronto. They were given six hours to work on data provided by the Toronto Police Service (TPS) and Geotab. After scrutinizing each submission, the judging panel chose five finalist teams they believed made the best use of the data and proposed the most actionable solutions.
Team Quantet's experience
Among these five teams was Teams Quantet, a group made up of Finance & Accounting graduates. They had a lot to say about their experience in the Datathon, including how it compared to other competitions they had previously participated in. They made use of the University of Toronto’s student portal, Quercus, in order to access the data and relevant materials for the case.
“We've participated in several case competitions in the past and can say that our experience at Rotman was second to none! From the early emails which gave us the lay of the land regarding Quercus and other tools, to the frequent email updates from organizers, we always knew what was going on, and what to expect in terms of event programming.”
The group valued the open-ended nature of the case, which pushed them to focus on specific aspects of the problem in order to make use of the limited time available. The group particularly appreciated the support they received from the faculty, including from MMA Academic Director Dmitry Krass. They took advantage of his input to better understand the importance of concentrating on specific elements of the case.
We've participated in several case competitions in the past and can say that our experience at Rotman was second to none!
“Strategy wise, after talking with Prof. Krass, we were encouraged to focus in on one or two potential areas of investigation, and that was likely the key to our success. With over 5 exclusive databases and hundreds of thousands of lines of data, it would have been easy to digress on various tangents. In taking Dmitry's advice, we looked only at two areas and provided a recommendation based on weather data, and key areas in the city flagged as "severe" by Geotab for driving behaviours.”
Making connections at the Datathon
Among the several things they enjoyed from the Datathon was the possibility to network with fellow participants and industry experts. Additionally, the team appreciated the efficiency of the event itself and their interactions with the university.
“Overall, the organizers made the event highly memorable as they were friendly, efficient, and deliberative throughout the entire weekend. The industry folks in attendance were also quite open to exchanging ideas about data analytics which was a big plus for perspective analysts like ourselves.”
Overall, the organizers made the event highly memorable as they were friendly, efficient, and deliberative throughout the entire weekend.
For Team Quantet, the Datathon was an unforgettable experience which gave them the opportunity to showcase their data analysis skills and develop their ability to work as a team. With the field of data analytics growing at a rapid pace, the Rotman MMA prepares students to become analytics experts by teaching these skills.
Read about our MMA Student Ambassadors and their experiences in the program
The Master of Management Analytics is designed to give students the advanced data management, analytics and communication skills needed to become an analytics professional.