Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

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Day 2 - Rotman Open House, industry panel, and the winner is...

To kick off the day participants were invited to a brunch with the judges. The judges, Dmitry Krass Academic Director of the MMA program, and from MAESD Kirsten Cutler and Chris Ganowski, had spent hours that morning narrowing down the 18 submissions to the 5 top teams that would be invited to present later in the day.

The Datathon was held in conjunction with the Annual Rotman Open House, our largest event, where perspective students have the opportunity to find out more about all of the programs offered by the school.

Image of András Tilcsik speaking

A highlight of the Open House is always the keynote speaker. Andras Tilcsik did not disappoint. The session was titled, Meltdown in the Digital Age. Andras kept the audience riveted discussing company failures, and how small mistakes can lead to large failures with systems that are designed to prevent mistakes.

Following the keynote, Vice Dean Susan Christoffersen offered attendees advice on the key sessions of the day. One of those sessions was the Datathon Top 5 Presentations. Announcing the finalists to over 300 attendees, Teams Big3, GDT, Diver, 1738 and 001.

Learning from analytics practitioners

One of the goals of the Datathon was to introduce participants to the Rotman Analytics Community. As part of the MMA program, an Advisory BoardImage of panel members talking at Datathon 2017 of industry experts has been inaugurated to help advise and guide the program. We were fortunate to have two advisory board members and one of the Ministry judges join us for an industry panel.

Moderated by our Career Services Director Stephanie Cera Amenta, panelists were asked their questions on the analytics industry, career advice and the growing need for data analytics in all aspects of business.

The panellists gave some great advice, speaking from the banking, technology and government perspectives. Examples include:


“Understand yourself. Learn to self-reflect. Much of the work will be in teams, you will need to adapt to change.”


“People think of their first job as a concrete career choice, but I wish I'd been told that my career would evolve.”

All the panelists agreed. Fail fast, and fail often, or you won't grow.   

Presenting the findings

After wrapping up the panel we moved straight along into the Datathon presentations.

Each team had 5 minutes to present their solutions and 3 minutes to answer questions from the judges. Of the 5 teams, they all used different models but found similar results. Many of the solutions revolved around gender, time commitments and tax credits. The teams used different strategies to present their results, visualization techniques and model showcase.

Some of the teams had competed in Datathons before, but for others it was their first opportunity to present their findings and solutions to judges. They showed their creatitivty and passion for analytics through the presentations. Even showing their fun side in naming their team, one named after a song from a famous wrapper (1738) and another showing case female data professionals (GDT=Girls Data Team).

The second day ended on a high with a networking reception for the participants and judges. After Susan Christoffersen thanked all who participated, judged and helped organize, Dmitry Krass presented the winners. First place went to 1738, Second place to Big3, and 3rd to Diver. Honourable mentions were also given to 001 and GDT.

The winning team, 1738

image of the winning Datathon team, 1738

Overall it was a wonderful 2 day event. We are thankful to have had so many wonderful data enthusiasts participate in our first ever Datathon. You can read about day 1 of the datathon in a separate blog post, or view some photographs from the different sessions across the two days.

The Master of Management Analytics is designed to give students the advanced data management, analytics and communication skills needed to become an analytics professional.

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