Melbourne Datathon 2018, 24th July - 26th September
Data Science Melbourne presents
Melbourne Datathon 2018
24th July - 26th  Sept 2018
Get Involved
Come and Participate
Novice to Experts
Cash Prizes ($$$)

Latest news...

For the latest news, please keep an eye on the posts below…

Submission Details

The submission form can be found below… Hope you all had fun and see you on 26th at the nab arena

1 week to go email

This was the email sent out on 11th Sept with details about the submission process, prizes and pitch day


  • To learn from each other and cross pollinate skill sets
  • To provide a stage for potential employers and employees to meet
  • To create a buzz in Melbourne around Data Science and reverse the brain drain
  • To solve a real world problem that could impact the lives of all Australians
  • To have fun!

How it works

In brief…

  • Read this web page and register
  • Attend one or more of the 3 events in order to get the data, form teams and start your analysis
    Tue 24th July – come and get the data
    Sat 28th July – hackday 1
    Sun 26th Aug – hackday 2
  • Come up with useful insights from the data – there is no set task
  • Continue working with your team and submit a slide deck and 3 minute video before 3pm, Tue 18th Sept.
  • Top teams will be pre-selected to pitch their findings at the MeDaScIn conference on Wed 26th Sept.
  • A new prize category ‘Data2App‘ has been introduced this year to develop useable web based tools to further demonstrate the value of the data


  • The datathon is free to participate in
  • Catering will be provided on the hackdays (but feel free to bring your own)
  • Attending the hackdays is NOT compulsory
  • You are free to use your own tools to perform the analysis
  • There will be prize categories for student only and open teams
  • Last year we placed over 30 interns, so this is an ideal opportunity to impress

What’s New…

  • The event is longer (2 months) to give everyone the opportunity to participate
  • There will be a new award category for ‘student only’ teams
  • There is a new ‘Data2App’ prize category
  • We will be asking for a 3 minute video to be submitted for the insights and ‘Data2App’ comps to assist in pre-selection of teams to present at the conference
  • We have consulted with the universities and co-ordinated the dates to fit in with semester 2 teaching periods. There is a good chance your University will be using the datathon for course work, so have a word with your lecturer
  • If you are a lecturer then please encourage your students to participate and feel free to use it for course credits

What’s Old…

  • No NDA to sign this year – you can do as you please with the data
  • We’re giving the predictive Kaggle prize a break, please enter the ‘Data2App’ instead
  • Still not convinced? See how much fun we’ve had in previous years.

Other Stuff…

  • There will be photography and video recording at the events – only participate if you have no objection
  • This is your work, so you you can do what you like with it after the event. Anything submitted though might be made public for others to see
  • Bring your laptop with a standard USB port so you can copy the data. It may be made available online at a later stage

$26k in Prizes

All prizes will be awarded at the MeDaScIn Symposium on the 26th September, which is part of Melbourne Data Science Week.

There is a total prize pool of $26k – we’ll be revealing how this is distributed closer to the submission date (but you have to be in it to win it!)

There are 2 team categories (students & all comers) and 2 entry categories (insights & data2app)

There will be a Social Media prize of $1k for the best documentation and publicised blog post or other about the datathon experience.  Use the hashtag $MelbDatathon. Remember we have to come across it to know about it.

In addition, ANZ are offering 3 internships to the winners of the new ‘Data2App‘ category.

Confirmed companies looking for interns/employees from the datathon entrants include;

  • KPMG
  • iSelect
  • ANZ
  • Northraine
  • Wilson A.I.
  • Sportsbet
  • Silverpond
  • Betfair
  • PwC
  • Forefront Analytics
  • Rightship

In order to be considered, you will need to be part of a team that has made a submission. Prepare your cv and and combine it with your submission into a single pdf – details of how to submit it will be given closer to the time.

Get your company involved…

If you are a company and would like the opportunity to take on participants of the datathon as interns, or help sponsor the prizes them please fill out the form here. There will be a few corporate teams taking part, so get your colleagues together and come and have some fun.


  • What is a Datathon?
    You work for an analytics consultancy that is pitching to a client for a major piece of work. The client collects data as a by-product of its operations and wants to see if any business value can be extracted from it. You have been given 2 months to demonstrate the potential usefulness of the data and put together findings to present to the client.
  • What is the data?
    Trust us that it is the best data set we could have hoped for. It is previously unseen and successful analytics could have a positive impact on the daily lives of many Victorians. We’re keeping the exact content under wraps, so you’ll have to turn up to find out.
  • Do I need to be to be a data science rock star to enter?
    No, this is all about learning and knowledge transfer. Even if you’ve never done anything like this before, please come along. We offer tutorials and mentors on hack day to get you started.
  • What do I need to bring?
    You will need your laptop with your favourite tools installed. Bring lots of curiosity and energy. Don’t forget your power cord!
  • What software can I use?
    You can use whatever you like.
  • Do I need to already have a team?
    There are many individuals looking for team mates so we have set up a Fleep conversation group to put you all in touch. There will also be facilitated events on the first evening and first hack day. Don’t worry if you don’t know anyone; lots of people won’t.
  • Can I enter as an individual?
    Yes, but the judging panel will favour teamwork for the insights part. Each participant can only be part of one submission; you cannot be both on a team and an individual. The ‘Data2App’ part is considered separate and you do not have to be in a team, but it is a natural extension of the insights so take this into consideration.
  • What if I need help?
    There will be a handful of very experienced ‘mentors’ floating around the room on hack day. The purpose of them being there is to give ‘training’ on tools and techniques to munge the data – please use them! We will also host a selection of tutorials.
  • What will be revealed about the data?
    Not much – it is your job to figure things out. On hack day 2, the data owners will be there to give a short presentation and answer any questions you have.
  • How ‘big’ is the data?
    In total it will be potentially very big with millions of rows. It is split into several files of bite-sized chunks and each file can be worked on individually – you will not need to load in everything to start analysis and you will not be required to analyse it all to get meaningful insights.
  • Can we use additional data?
    Totally – but it has to be publicly available.
  • Are there set tasks?
    No, we provide very little initial guidance. As a true ‘data explorer’, you will have to come up with your own questions for the data. We want the datathon to be just like a real data science consulting task. Ask yourself what the data provider might want to learn, and how you might go about presenting that.
  • What, no guidance?
    Well maybe this year as the data is so awesome and vast, we will give some suggestions as to the type of problems that need to be solved. Also don’t assume that we know anything about the data already, so things like data quality and sanity checking should be addressed.
  • How will it be judged?
    The main focus of our panel will be on the team’s ability to translate their findings into meaningful, easily understandable, actionable and valuable insights. They have a hypothetical budget to allocate and you need to convince them it’s worth spending it on your analytics. Pre-selection will primarily be based on the 3 minute video submissions.
  • Is this like a Kaggle competition?
    Previously we have had a Kaggle competition, but we are giving it a break this year. There is a new ‘Data2App’ competition instead.
  • How do we communicate and stay up to date?
    Once you sign up you will be getting regular email updates via survey monkey (check your social tag if you use gmail). You should also join the Data Science Melbourne meetup group and register for the Datathon events, which will give us the ability to also communicate with you through meetup. We’ve also set up a  Fleep discussion group where questions and information about the data can be shared
  • What are the rules?
    Each participant can only be part of one team in the pitching competition and one team in the new Data2App competition. At least one team member should be present at the presentation conference to be eligible for a prize. You can be in different teams for the pitching contest and Data2App contest (the latter could be entered as an individual).
  • How do I apply for an internship?
    You need to have made a submission to either the insights or Data2App categories to be eligible. Get your CV ready and we’ll provide further instructions in due course.
  • How do we submit our entries?
    Instructions will be provided in due course
  • Registrations are now closed, can I still participate?
    Yes, but you will not be on the mailing list. To get on this list please message Phil (the organiser) though the DSM meetup group with your email address – use your data science skills to figure out how to do this. This is the only way – all other methods of communication will be ignored!
  • Do we need to register teams?
    It is not strictly necessary, but you will be out of the loop for any ‘special’ info we may be communicating. Teams can be registered here.
  • Can I add new members to the team once registered
    Yes, but there is no need to let us know – it’s only really the team captain we need the email of so they can receive any emails we send. It’s then upto the captain to share this info with you.
  • I’m new to datathons – can you tell me what I need to do?
    Yes – read the instructions here.
  • I missed getting the data, is it online
    It will be put on AWS. We’ll let you know in Fleep the details in due course.

New Prize Category

What is the Data2App category?

The Data2App prize category was created to recognise the significant role that user-facing applications play in the delivery of value-creating insights from data science and analytics. In data science, the insights which have the maximal impact are those which are communicated most effectively to stakeholders and decision-makers in the business. That’s why we think that data-driven applications, which allow users to interactively explore and visualise data and insights, are a critical part of data science.

How do I enter the Data2App competition?

  1. Use the data provided (maybe a summarised version) and your data science and developer skills to build a world-class application with a beautiful, user-friendly interface, powered by some serious machine learning and analytics under the hood to bring your insights to life.
  2. Host your application on the web where our panel of judges can access it and play around with it. (You can use any hosting service you like.)
  3. Once finished, create a 3 minute video demonstrating what you have come up with.
  4. We may ask to look at the source code of the selected top teams – a public Git repository is a great way to do this. 

How will the winners be determined?

All entries to the Data2App category will be assessed by a panel of professional data scientists and data science managers and scored on a range of criteria, including:

  • Is the data presented in a way that tells a good story, highlighting key insights?
  • Are those insights actionable – i.e. could a stakeholder make a practical business decision based on the data?
  • Does the application effectively make use of current technology?
  • Is the application scalable – could it easily be transitioned from a prototype to a production app on industry-sized data.

What is the prize for winners?

Cash prizes will be awarded to the winners in the student and non-student categories.

In addition, ANZ will be offering up to three paid internships for the winning team in the student category, where the winners will have the opportunity to work on a two-month project applying their data science skills to some unique real-world datasets solving tough problems with proven business value.

Can I enter the Data2App competition if I’m already participating in the insights competitions?

Yes! You can participate in the Data2App category as well as the insights competition; in-fact it is a natural progression of the insights. All you have to do is meet the entry criteria listed above.


Day 1
24 Jul 2018

Afternoon Launch

Tue afternoon is your first chance to get your hands on the data. Bring your laptop and your table tennis bat if you want to take on Phil.

Evening Launch

Come along after work to get the data, hear a short presentation about proceedings and find team mates. Attending the launch event is not mandatory, but will give you an early start. The data will also be available on the hackdays. Don’t forget to bring your laptop if you want to get the data!
Day 2
28 Jul 2018

First Saturday – Hack Day I

On Saturday, we will provide everything you need to work on your data investigation: food, drinks, a co-working space and, of course, the dataset. If you are looking to join a team, this is a great opportunity to ask around and/or attend our special team formation event. We will host a couple of (optional) ‘master classes’ to demonstrate tools, techniques and skills to get you going. Please note wi-fi may not be available, so make sure you have all the tools already installed.
Day 3
26 Aug 2018

One Month in – Hackday II

There will be a 2nd hackday one month in to continue your analysis. During the day, the data provider will be there for a data walkthrough and Q&A and there will also be tutorials on presentation skills.
Day 4
18 Sep 2018

Submission Deadline

The deadline is 3pm, Tuesday 18th September. You will be provided with detail on how to submit your insights deck and 3 minute video.
Day 5
26 Sep 2018

Pitch Time

This year we are running Melbourne Data Science week again and the datathon pitches will be a key part of the MeDaScIn event, which this year is titled Hackers Helping Melbourne Symposium. Selected teams will be invited to present and then the prizes awarded based on the presentations. This is a ticketed event with a limit of 350 attendees. Tickets are now available at


Click on the links below to see the venue locations

Crypton Analytics, 96 Pelham St, Carlton

Zendesk Basement, 395 Collins St (Queen & Collins)

SAB, RMIT Building 80, 445 Swanston St.

nab Arena – 700 Bourke St

Platform28 – 82 Village St. Docklands


The Panel

These are the key decision makers who you need to sell your story to!

Kelly Ke

Data Scientist, ANZ

Megan Vassarotti

Senior Manager, Product lead, Digital Engagement at Department of Premier and Cabinet (Vic)

Sally Grove

GM Insights, Australian Motoring Services

Vicky Falconer

Big Data & Analytics Business Development Lead at Amazon Web Services


There will be a few experienced people floating around and available to help you out with technical things. Please use them, it’s a good opportunity to get a one on one tutorial.

If anyone else wants to help, just turn up on the hack day.

Hackdays Detailed Schedule

Sunday 26th Aug - RMIT, 445 Swanston St
Welcome to the 2018 Melbourne Datathon hackday number 2!
There is still an opportunity to participate by attending this event. For those who have already started, it is a chance to get back together with your team.
10:00-10:45Data Overview
You have been told little about the data - now is the chance to hear from the data providers, bring your questions.
If you are fed up of pizza then please bring your own snacks!
Optional tutorials in the presentation area for those who want to join us.
1:30-2:00 Tutorial
Paul Hodge - data vizualisation
Emily Edgeley - pitching your insights
4:45pmEnd of our 2nd hackday. We're looking forward to seeing your findings.


Extreme Gradient Boosters

Special thanks to the following organisations for providing significant support for this event…



Logistic Regressors

Our Hosts…

Deep Learners

Our Data & Platform Providers…

Bayesian Believers

We appreciate all those who continue to support Data Science Melbourne  throughout the year.

Feature Detectors

All Help Appreciated

If you are a company and would like the opportunity to take on participants of the datathon as interns, or help sponsor the prizes them please fill out the form here.


Phil Brierley and Data Science Melbourne

The 2018 Melbourne Datathon is part of the Melbourne Data Science Week, 24th – 28th Sept. There will be 3 days of tutorials and a conference. Please stay tuned for further info nearer the time