Brock Datathon to highlight growing analytics field

Brock University students are leading the charge to educate their peers — and those from other schools — about the world of data analytics.

In hopes of providing insight into the growing field, a group of like-minded students from various disciplines have come together to host the inaugural Datathon on campus this weekend. The educational conference takes place Saturday, Sept. 23 and Sunday, Sept. 24, and is open to the public.

Co-organizer Nour Hage, a third-year history and political science student, said a “massive gap” exists in the workforce for data analysts, which opens the door for ambitious students eager to learn.

Brock’s Goodman School of Business opened its Business Analytics Centre last fall to help students build the highly sought skill.

“Our goal was to make this event as cross-disciplinary as possible,” Hage said, while adding speakers were selected with backgrounds in business, history, medicine and political science, among others, to share insight into the many uses of data analytics.

Through a series of presentations from industry experts and hands-on workshops, conference attendees will learn how big data is changing the world and how to think like a data scientist. The day will conclude with a Datathon competition to test those new-found skills.

There will be opportunity to experiment with the programs being discussed throughout the day during the workshops, which require no prior experience.

“We want people to walk away with greater knowledge of data analytics — what it is and what its applications are,” Hage said. “We want them to take an interest in this field and explore it a bit on their own time.”

The event, expected to draw 150 people, is nearly sold out with only a handful of $10 tickets remaining.

Registration will continue online until Thursday, Sept. 21 or tickets, if still available, can be purchased at the door (Academic South 202) for an increased price.

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