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 ($$$)

The 2018 Melbourne Datathon is approaching...

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


  • 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 – kick off
    Sat 28th July – hackday 1
    Sun 26th Aug – hackday 2
  • Come up with useful insights from the data – there is no set task
  • There will also be a Kaggle in Class competition just for the datathon entrants
  • Continue working with your team and submit a slide deck before 3pm, Sun 23rd Sept.
  • Top teams will be pre-selected to pitch their findings at the MeDaScIn conference on Wed 26th Sept.


  • The datathon is free to participate in
  • Catering will be provided on the hackdays
  • 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
  • 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…

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 Melburnians. 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. We recommend you have a database set up to load the data into.
  • Do I need to already have a team?
    No, we are expecting most people will form teams on the hack day. The organisers will be around to facilitate this with a special event. 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 pitching part. Each participant can only be part of one submission; you cannot be both on a team and an individual. The Kaggle part is considered separate and you do not have to be in a team – to increase your chance of getting an internship you should enter the Kaggle part as an individual.
  • 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 of data in total. 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.
  • Is this like a Kaggle competition?
    There is a predictive component with separate prizes that will be run on Kaggle where you can enter as an individual or in a team.
  • 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 Kaggle 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 the Kaggle competition, but we strongly encourage you to put in an entry for both the pitching contest and the Kaggle competition.
    You cannot pass on the data to anyone else – all participants must have collected the data in person from one of the 4 events.
  • How do I apply for an internship?
    Instructions will be  on the read_me.pdf that is included with the data.
  • How do we submit our entries to the insights competition?
    Instructions are on the read_me.pdf that is included with the data.


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, wifi – 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.
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
23 Sep 2018

Submission Deadline

The deadline is 3pm, Sunday 23rd September. You will be provided an email address to send your insights deck to. The Kaggle part will continue until midnight.
Day 5
26 Sep 2018

Pitch Time

This year we are running the MeDaScIn conference again, with the datathon presentations forming a major part. Selected teams will be invited to present and then the prizes awarded based on the presentations.


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

This is our board of directors who you need to sell your story to!

Judge 1

Judge 2


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

Saturday 28th July - RMIT, 445 Swanton St
Welcome to the 2018 Melbourne Datathon hackday number 1! If you are looking for a team, grab a name sticker and follow the instructions. After signing in, make your way to the data station to load up the dataset.
10:00-10:30Forming Teams
Attend this event if you are looking for a team. We will have muffins and instructions waiting for you.
11:15-11:45Getting Started - Phil Brierley
In this presentation we will give a short demo of loading the data in a couple of tools (example code for this will also be included with the data)
12:30Lunch - sitting 1
A pizza lunch will be served. It will be busy so grab a pizza and take it to share with your team. Gluten free pizzas will be available in this first batch only
1:15Lunch - sitting 2
More pizza will arrive
Optional tutorials in the presentation area for those who want to join us.
3:30 - 4:00Tutorial
6:00pmEnd of hackday 1. I'm sure we can find a local pub to continue.


Sunday 26th Aug - RMIT, 445 Swanston St
Welcome to the 2018 Melbourne Datathon hackday number 2!
There then 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.
10:00-10:30Forming Teams
For those who have not yet formed a team then there will be an opportunity to meet others at this session.
11:00-11:30Data walkthrough, Q&A
So far we have told you little about the data.
In this presentation, our data sponsor will give a quick overview of the data and answer any questions you may have.
Snacks will be available - for anything more substantial please bring your own.
Optional tutorials in the presentation area for those who want to join us.
1:30-2:00 Tutorial
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…



Bayesian Believers

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

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