Datathon Participants Guidelines


Dear participants, we highly appreciate your participation in the Datathon as challengers and we are sure that your contribution will make for another great Datathon. During the event, your task would be to develop a data-based solution to a chosen case study.

Before the event

Register into the Datathon Platform

Register in Datathon website at: the event page . The registration will go through e-mail confirmation. A confirmation email about the registration is received. Keep in mind that there might be a delay in receiving it or could be in the spam folder.  Make sure that You have filled in Your profile, including an avatar (not necessary Your actual photo), Your name, Your data science interest, etc.

Check the local host details

If you have chosen to attend one of our local hubs for the event so that you participate physically, you should check in advance the location and transport to the hub, starting times and working time of the venue, any requirements for security, etc. Please show up at the local Datathon Hub on time on the starting day of the Datathon. You will use your own tools, including hardware, software, communications, and stationery. If you need a computer and certain software, make sure you have it prepared.

Read the presented cases

At the beginning of the registration period, the simplified descriptions of the cases are available on the Datathon website. In the week before the datathon the full descriptions will be available, and the data sets will be available at the start of the Datathon. Review all the provided cases. Look for a case that will challenge and excite you. Form or join a team that you will have fun who are interested in the same case. Read preliminary guidelines for the cases by the mentors, where they would have stated their advice and suggestions to the participants of how to solve the case. These guidelines should be ready about one week before the start of the event.

Participate in the online discussions

We highly recommend being part of the conversation. One of the most valuable aspects of the Datathon is to be part of the online community. For global communication with the participants, we use Slack Channel among other platforms.

The Slack channel is the main place for online communication among the participants, experts and mentors, to register use the link from the menu Society -> Join Slack. All the communications in the Slack are conducted in English. If you have any technical problems write in the #issues channel. Have fun, make jokes, support others and build a friendly and safe learning environment. Treat other participants the way you want to be treated. Collaborate and expand your knowledge together.

The mentors would log in about once a day online in the Slack in the week before the start of the Datathon, so there are opportunities to interact and introduce yourself. Also, all other participants are going to be there.

There are several groups which we can recommend to join, use the search menu to find them:

#general – for general info

#announcements – a read-only group for announcements from DSS

#issues – if there are problems also you can check Help -> FAQ menu on DSS site

#datathon_… the main channel for particular Datathon

#cases_…. – these are the groups where the case are going to be discussed with industry experts

The most important, you are free to set up your team group and start working in private groups

These channels are going to be the main place of where you will ask questions to the mentors during the Datathon.

Team forming

It is not mandatory to have a team formed in order to participate. You will have a chance to form a team virtually up until the start of the Datathon. The preferable size of the team between 3 to 5 people. There are two ways to get in a team:

  • Use the platform to proactively form your team

You will be able to form a team with ease once you have chosen a case to work on. We also advise you to take a look at the profiles of other participants and start using the chat room(s) for the case(s) that you find interesting. This is a good way to find other experts that would like to work on the same case.
If someone is left out during the teaming up in the #announcement channel he/she should move to #general to pair up with other lonely participants and be proactive.

Team registration

Once the teams are formed all Datathoners need to register the teams. That is done by posting your team details in a new article (which will contain your team solution by the end of the event). You need to create a new article and add all team mates, team name, case, and mentors. There is a template one which can be used called “Example of Team Article”. The role of the mentor is to read and comment on the article (your solution) without editing it, while it is in private mode (Draft status). The one who created the article is by default in the team and he is considered as the author, every next teammate registered will be a co-author of the article. Think of a cool name and put it as a title.

Start your article as Draft you will can keep it in Draft, but please provide more information about you progress without going into too much details on Saturday afternoon and you need to Publish it before the deadline on Sunday. We only consider articles which are in draft or public and done before Saturday 20:00 BG time.

Also, create your own team channel in Slack. Find each other in direct messages and appoint one of you to create the team private channel, with the most strange or funny name of your team.


During the event

Grand opening

The Datathon starts officially at the same time Worldwide as mentioned into agenda section. There would be some clarifications and possibly other useful messages given by DSS. The data-sets are going to be put available so that your team could start working on the case.

Start working on the team case solution:

Setup a working environment for the team. Transfer all the data into the team environment and start working. Approach industry experts for clarifications in their virtual rooms #case. Approach mentors they are going to monitor all groups relevant to their expertise and there you can raise your question. If you want higher security you can contact them directly, but be aware that they are not going to be online all the time, so if you are using a group (channel) someone else can answer on your question in a timely manner.

Q&A mentors live session

Normally around Saturday morning, there are many questions by the participants of the Datathon. That is why we organize live Q&A session on Saturday morning in which the industry experts and the mentors provide some clarifications about the cases and about the approaches to solve them. Your attention would be very beneficial. There will be live streaming with updates in the general Data Chat.

Social network activities

For sharing your stories, we recommend you to use Twitter and Facebook where we want to capture the best moments of the Datathon. We invite every team to post a short team video on Saturday (up to a minute) and a picture on the social media adding #Datathon (and other official hashtags given by DSS). Let’ s create a story and tag ALL pictures and videos so the world can see them!

Have fun

Join the different fun sessions online and offline at the hosting locations. After all, we all learn and work better when we are enjoying our time and having fun. Keep en eye on the #general Slack channel for our online quests and ask your local hosts about what surprises they have prepared for you.

Upload your results to the leader board, when applicable

Starting from the beginning of the Datathon every team should upload their interim solutions to the leader board.

Publish the article.

Finally when the time comes to be proud of yourselves what you did and how much you learn. We advise you to use the CRISP-DM methodology for your masterpiece. You need to add your code in Jupyter Notebook in the article .

The processes of posting article – articles have three stances:

Draft – Is the working stance of the article, where only the team members and mentors can see, update, and comment.

Published – Is the stance where the article is viewable by everyone on the internet, but only logged in participants can comment on it.

The participants are allowed and encouraged to comment, upvote and ask questions to other articles. We want to create long-lasting knowledge base and sense of community.

Saturday evening is a deadline to upload a working version of your article [to qualify for the competition]

At the end of the event

Semi Finals – Leader board

The teams will be assigned in groups for each case by uploading their interim results. Several teams which are ranked at the top of their leader boards will qualify for the final. The finalist teams are going to be announced and preparing for the final round where they need to login and present their solution.

Finals and closing

The finalist teams would have to provide and uploaded a video of up to 3 minutes to explain some details, to be evaluated by the Jury or to present their solution in 3 minutes when the Datathon is phisical. The jury vote will be based mainly on the content of the articles of the team. The mentors will provide you with feedback below your article. Participants are also encouraged to leave comments and questions to other articles, when they are available. The team with the best collective rank wins. There will be streaming for the award ceremony so keep an eye on the website, schedule and the #announcement chat for pinned messages.

What to do next? (follow the steps below to get prepared for the challenge)

Article creation and Platform

  1. Get to know the case and the DSS platform. (in the linked article you will find links with Video and Case description for each data case)
  2. Read the Instructions
  3. Watch the User Guidelines Manual – How to create Article and Group Chat.
  4. If you have a team, start creating your team article and tag your members by Thursday
  5. Deadline for creating your team/personal article until Friday 23:00 Bulgarian Time (UTC 20:00)
  6. Start your article as Draft you will have to Publish it on Sunday (Deadline 16:00 UTC-13:00)  but you can keep working on them until the last deadline.

IMPORTANT: You must do these 2 steps when the Datathon officially starts. (these two actions will unlock during the Datathon)

1. Link your article with the working data case. (from Article edit, the drop-down menu)

2. Add your mentors in the special field in your article.  (Article edit)

Chat and Communication

  1. Login to Slack and talk with the Society and Mentors
  2. Make/join your team private channel. (you will find out how in the Instructions link above)
  3. Make a crazy photo with your team and post it the #data_fun chat! 😉
  4. You can use Slack for video calls and screen sharing with your teammates.
  5. Follow the schedule on the website and keep an eye on the Slack for updates


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