Brock Datathon to showcase storytelling using data

Have you ever had a conversation about a product that starts showing up in online advertisements shortly afterwards? Welcome to the world of big data, where cell phones methodically catalogue your shopping interests for marketers.

It’s just one example of how personal preference data is used by data scientists in an age of always-on, artificial intelligence (AI) powered marketing influence.

On Saturday, Nov. 9, top talent from IBM, Deloitte, Shopify, Environics and more will present keynote speeches and deliver in-depth workshops to a host of enthusiastic data junkies and Brock students at the third annual Datathon conference.

Go behind the data curtain to learn how the “ads-coinciding-with-conversation” algorithm operates, how IBM’s Watson supercomputer learns to predict how a person feels with sentiment analysis or how the actuary field can predict financial risk.

Datathon is a non-profit organization created by Brock students Nour Hage, Shakti Pradhan, Conrad Lipiec and Thomas Lillo. Professors Anteneh Ayanso and Roelof Makken support the team and help attract sponsors who see the value in well-informed Brock students.

“Our aim with Datathon is to educate students about data analytics, provide a networking opportunity and highlight important work in the field,” said Hage.

The team has kept the conference accessible for anyone interested. The workshop is $40, and attending the base event is $20, which includes breakfast, lunch and coffee.

The team went further this year by offering live-streaming access to five other universities in Peru, Sweden and Spain. The international initiative will include schools who have less access to data centric programming at this level. Streaming content will put Brock in the global spotlight with the goal of scaling up future conferences to many more institutions.

The event is open to all and will include a special presentation from the winner of the Sustainability Development Challenge – a case competition that invites teams to showcase effective storytelling using data.

Anyone interested in enhancing their skill with data analytics is encouraged to attend.

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