Big Data Hackathon in Vancouver

The event is over. Please find the event presentations and resources here.

Prize winners:

- Data Modelling: Vancouver Crime Analysis by team Droptable UBC

- Data Visualization: Reflex Math Analytics by team Synergy


Full room

You’re invited!

The Microsoft Big Data Hackathon is your opportunity to hack for a good cause. Assemble a team, learn, share, and make new friends as you use big data technologies to solve real-world problems.


Who Should Attend

This event is open to anyone interested in Big Data, BI and Data Visualization:

· Data Scientists

· Developers and Programmers

· Data Architects

· Anyone interested in learning about Microsoft’s big data technologies

Technologies covered

· Power BI and Excel

· Azure HDInsight (Hadoop)

· Azure Machine Learning

· SQL Server

Contest and Prizes

Attendees will self-organize into teams of 3-5 members and participate in the Big Data Hackathon contest.

Each team will be given 24 hours to select and solve a specific data science problem using Microsoft tools and then present the project to the judges.

Two winners will be chosen in two categories (one winning team per category):

1) Data Modeling* – a team should produce a model to prove or disprove a relationship with the data; and

2) Data Visualization** - a team should create a visualization to represent the data.


There will be $2,000 in prizes for winning teams ***

We will have Microsoft, Partner and Community experts on-hand giving presentations, running Q&A sessions and to assist groups with their projects.


Simon Fraser University - Morris J Wosk Centre for Dialogue. 580 W Hastings St, Vancouver British Columbia V6B 1L6, Canada



Day 1. Saturday, April 18

Time Activity
9:00 AM Breakfast
9:30 AM Introduction
10:00 AM Presentations: Data Science, HDInsight, Power BI, Azure Machine Learning
12:00 PM Lunch and coding begins
6:00 PM Dinner and coding continues


Day 2. Sunday, April 19

Time Activity
9:00 AM Breakfast
1:00 PM Solution presentations begin
2:30 PM Winners announced and prizes handed out


Attendees should bring the following:

· Laptop or tablet running Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1

· Microsoft Excel (please find Office 2013 trial version here)

· A Microsoft Azure Subscription (sign up for a free trial here)

Register >







* Data modelling: Can you finds trends in data? Can you make accurate predictions on behavior? Azure can be used to run any tools in your Data Science arsenal. Using Microsoft Azure ML can you find a Linear Regression relationship between variables? Can you test this and predict something given the modelled relationship? Can you model data points into clusters? Or use classification to label your data points? If so (or even if not and you want to learn!) then you should participate in the modelling challenge. You can use Azure ML to retrieve data from a variety of sources including SQL, Azure Storage and more, clean it up and build a predictive model.
** Data Visualization: Can you find the best way to visualize data? Can you use HD Insight, Power BI, SQL Server and other parts of the Microsoft data platform to get the most out of your data? Will you display with 3D charts in Power Map or use Power BI to create a realistic set of metrics and statistical value which can be visualized in a report? If so then you should participate in this challenge!

*** No purchase necessary. Contest open to residents of Canada [excluding Quebec]. In addition, Microsoft is committed to complying with government gift and ethics rules and therefore government employees are not eligible to participate. There are two (2) $1,000 team prizes available to be won (one prize per team). The prizes will be given to two winning teams at the event in a form of gift cards at Microsoft’s choosing after the receipt of the signed declaration and release. Any costs or expenses incurred by the winners in claiming or using their prizes are the responsibility of the winners. Selected participant is required to answer correctly a skill-testing question. Contest closes on March 14 at 3PM. For full contest rules go to