Data scientist looking to level up? Take a crack at these competitions
By Kylee McIntyre02-Apr-2019Views 1946

data competitions

Data science has become an industry buzzword because - well, the industry is still defining the term as well as what they want from their data scientists. Being able to draw insights from large amounts of information can give companies insights on their customers, their industry, and more. Knowledge is power, after all.

Since the field is so nascent, though, it's throwing educators a bit for a loop, as traditional education can't catch up fast enough. Coding academies like General Assembly and Upcode Academy have arisen to fill the gaps, while startup communities like YiDu AI have arisen to try and promote community learning.

Another way data scientists can look to hone their craft is competing in data science competitions.

While traditionally, developer competitions like hackathons have served a dual purpose: getting developers together to see what they can brainstorm under a little pressure while allowing companies and other potential employers to see their (possible) future employees at work. For developers, a hackathon can also serve as a job interview.

Data science competitions can serve the same purpose. Here are some of the big ones that can get you national or international recognition.

1. Kaggle

If you're not familiar with Kaggle, it can almost come off as an internet game scoreboard when you first look into it. Kaggle is a worldwide ranking of data science competitors that is done through its own point system.

You can participate in Kaggle competitions with data scientists around the world, and placing earns you rankings. With enough points, you can become a novice, an expert, a master, or a grandmaster.

Several competitions run at a time, so you can sign up for one you prefer and even discuss problems with other Kaggle community members on forums.

2. DrivenData

DrivenData aims to use data to solve social and environmental problems all over the world. Examples include competitions spanning two to three months about tracking dengue cases in South America, predicting heart conditions based on a simple patient data set, and forecasting energy consumption in cities. If you ever liked Captain Planet as a kid or want to try your hand at being your own Marvel superhero, take a crack at some of these competitions.

3. National Data Science Challenge

Singapore holds its own data science challenge every year for data scientists in the country to prove themselves. Open to students and professionals, the competition includes a cash prize ( last year it was $12,000) and the right to put that you were a national challenge winner on your CV.

Competitions are themed - this year's focused on machine learning and product information extraction.

The last National Data Science Challenge was held on February 9, 2019.


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Kylee McIntyre
American tech, science, health, and environmental writer. Lover of scifi, fantasy, travel, and coffee. Find her on Twitter @ejkyleem.
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