Data Expo 2020

Featured in Amstat News July 2019!

The Statistical Computing and Statistical Graphics Sections are excited to host an annual Data Challenge Expo to be jointly sponsored by three ASA Sections – Statistical Computing, Statistical Graphics, and Government Statistics. The Data Challenge Expo is open to anyone who is interested in participating. This includes government, industry, academia, retirees, and students. This contest will challenge participants to analyze a data set using statistical and visualization tools and methods. There will be two award categories – Professional (one level with a $500 award) and Student (three levels with awards at $1,500, $1,000, and $500). Results of the analysis would be presented at the annual JSM in a Speed poster format. 2020 Deadline: Feb 4th 2020

Feedback from previous competitions:

-Thank you SO MUCH for organizing this competition. It is such a wonderful opportunity for our students to engage with relevant data and meaningful problems.
-The students who attended JSM last year for the competition had a wonderful time and learned a great deal about the wonderful, comprehensive world of statistics


Are you wanting to present something at JSM 2020 in Philadelphia, but you do not have a research project in mind? You might consider participating in the Data Challenge Expo 2020. Three ASA sections (Computing, Government, and Graphics) are proud to sponsor the annual Data Challenge Expo at the JSM 2020 meetings. The contest is open to anyone who is interested in participating, including college students and professionals from the private or public sector.

Contestants will present their results in a speed poster session ( at the JSM and must submit their abstracts to the JSM online system. Note that judging takes place at the JSM and is based on the results presented there. Presenters are responsible for their own JSM registration and travel costs, and any other costs associated with JSM attendance. Group submissions are acceptable. To enter, contestants must do the following by February 4, 2020.

  • Submit abstract for Speed Poster session to the JSM 2020 website ( ). Specify the Statistical Computing Section as the main sponsor. You may include the Government Statistics Section and the Statistical Graphics Section as additional sponsors. Abstract submission starts December 3, 2019.
  • Forward the JSM abstract submission email to Wendy Martinez (

The data set for the Data Challenge Expo 2020 will be the Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN). Public use data files and documentation are available here: Contestants must use some portion of the GHCN data, but are strongly encouraged to combine other data sources in the analysis. Other sources of data contestants might utilize are IPUMS (, NASA’s EarthData (, or the European Data Portal ( 

Here are some questions to think about for an analysis. These are only to suggestions to get the ideas flowing. Contestants are encouraged to be creative.

  • Is there a long-term trend with respect to temperature? Are there any outliers or anomalies in space or time?
  • Is there a spatial pattern with respect to temperature changes?
  • Are there different geographic regions/clusters that behave differently, e.g., increases, no increases at all, or decreases?
  • Can you construct a spatio-temporal model that predicts temperatures in 2030, i.e., some slight extrapolation? What else might impact the temperatures in 10 years from now?

If you have any questions on the Data Challenge Expo please reach out to Wendy Martinez (