IISE Data Analytics and Information systems division (dais) student data analytics competition

The Data Analytics Competition is an annual student competition held by the Data Analytics and Information Systems (DAIS) division. The main objective of the competition is to provide the students with the opportunity to learn and improve their data analysis and visualization skills through working with real-world sized publicly available data sets.


  • Individuals or teams of a maximum of four members.   
  • Student members can be undergraduate or graduate students from higher education institutes in the field of Industrial & Systems Engineering or related fields.
  • Student members should be enrolled at the time of the submission of the proposal.
  • At least one of the team members must be an active member of the Institute of Industrial & Systems Engineers (IISE) and Data Analytics and Information System (DAIS) division.

Competition Process

DAIS division announces each year’s competition problem and dataset through email and DAIS division Fall 2020 newsletter.

Notice of Intent
A team must submit a notice of intent to participate in the competition via email to the chairs of the competition steering committee by Friday, Jan. 31, 2021. The notice of intent needs to include:

  • The list of full names of all individuals on the team, their affiliations, and contact information (email and phone). Student team members are required to provide their expected graduation date.
  • One team member identified as the main contact. 
  • Summary of work experience, skills, and tools related to data analysis, analytics, and visualization for each team member.

The competition chairs will share the competition challenge questions through email to the main contact provided by the team on Friday, Feb. 15, 2021.

Submission of the Results
Participating teams or individuals are required to submit a final report as well as the source code and scripts via email to the chair of the competition steering committee by Monday, March 31, 2021. More details regarding the final report format and content will be provided along with the challenge questions. The competition steering committee will evaluate the submissions and select a maximum number of three teams as finalists.

The final report is required to include the following sections:

  • Background: a summary of the literature used to further investigate and understand the competition problems.
  • Data sources: list of all data sources used in the analysis. All data sources must be open to the public and properly cited.
  • Analytical approach: include a detailed description of the procedures taken to import, cleanse, and load the data into the databases, data analysis, and visualization tools. Also, explain all the steps and approaches taken to perform the analyses required to provide the answer to the problems.
  • Results: results, interpretation, and recommendations for each of the problems.
  • Conclusions: further conclusions, recommendations, and areas for future investigation.
  • References: bibliographical list of references cited in the report.
  • Appendix: all scripts, code, data sources, etc.

The competition steering committee will review the submissions and select a maximum of three finalist teams. Depending on the number of and the quality of submitted results, less than three finalists may be selected.

Final presentation
The selected finalist teams and individuals will present their analytical approach, data sources, results and recommendations at the 2021 IISE Annual Conference & Expo, ALL VIRTUAL,  May 22 – 25, 2021. More information on the presentation contents will be provided to the finalist teams. 

Evaluation Process

Approval of the Notice of Intent 
The competition steering committee will review and approve or reject the submitted notices of intent to participate based on the aforementioned eligibility criteria. Approval emails will be sent by the chair of the committee by Feb. 7, 2021. The competition challenge questions will be emailed to the eligible teams and individuals by Feb. 15, 2021.

Selection of top three finalist teams 
The competition steering committee will select a maximum of four finalist teams. Finalist teams will be notified by email by the chair of the committee by April 10, 2021.

Selection of winners
The selected finalist teams will present their results in 2021 IISE Annual Conference & Expo , ALL VIRTUAL, May 22-25, 2021. A blind vote cast by invited judges will decide the winner after the presentations.

Important dates/deadlines

  • Notice of Intent: Jan. 31, 2021 
  • Notice of the team approval: Feb. 7, 2021
  • Competition challenge questions are made available: Feb. 15, 2021
  • Deadline for submission of the results: March 31, 2021
  • Notification to the finalist teams: April 10, 20201
  • IISE Annual Conference & Expo, ALL VIRTUAL: May 22-25, 2021

Competition Chairs

Saeed Ghanbartehrani, Ohio University

Cheng-Bang Chen, University of Miami