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There is no limitation on which software you use in the competition. We offer workshops in R, Python, SPSS, MATLAB, Excel, JMP, and Tableau mainly because we have volunteers to teach them. Please let us know if you wish to have a workshop on another software. We would be happy to organize it.

R for first-timers

Wednesday, March 6, 2024 at 6 pm in Roger Bacon 328

Instructor: Katherine McCarthy ’25

This workshop is designed to provide you with an introduction to R. We’ll start with downloading and installing R/RStudio into your computers and continue with cleaning, summarizing, and visualizing data. Throughout the workshop, we will talk about how to analyze and use data to make inferences about real-world phenomena. We will do hands-on data analysis using R.

Dinner will be served at 6, and the workshop will start at 6:15.


Thursday, March 7, 2024 at 4:30 pm in Siena Hall 328

Instructor: Dr. Necip Doganaksoy

This is an introductory session on JMP Pro, which offers a wide range of capabilities, from exploratory data analysis to data visualization to statistical and predictive modeling. With its user-friendly interface, JMP Pro enables users to interact with data through graphical representations and point-and-click features, making it accessible to a wide range of users. It finds applications in various fields such as engineering, science, finance, and healthcare. This workshop is specifically tailored for students who are planning to participate in DataFest2024@Siena.

Note: JMP has been installed on the classroom computers in Siena Hall 328. Please contact Dr. Doganaksoy if you wish to download and install JMP Pro on your PC before the workshop.

Pizza and refreshments will be served at the workshop.

Public opinion data analysis in R

Friday, March 8, 2024 at 12:45 in Siena Hall 120

Instructor: Travis Brodbeck

There is always an information need.  Whether it is a policy maker, a politician, an organization, or the average person, we are all looking for cues and clues to help us make decisions.  Whether that decision is at the ballot box or at the grocery store, polling is a way to learn about opinions, attitudes, and behaviors of people.  This session will explore the vastness of analyzing public opinion data to explore the trends below the headlines.

Lunch will be served at 12:45, and the workshop will start at 1.

Data Science with MATLAB

Friday, March 8, 2024 at 2 pm in Siena Hall 328

Instructor: Dr. Michele W. McColgan

In this workshop, we’ll work through some examples of importing data. We’ll import CSV files and learn how to generate code to import single or multiple files. We’ll pre-process the data to choose columns and ignore the data you don’t need. We’ll run some analysis examples and visualize the data. To participate, you can use your student MATLAB license. If you don’t have one, you can download a student trial version. We’ll be following along a project on File Exchange called Data Science: Predict Damage Costs of Weather Events by Heather Gorr.

Snacks and refreshments will be served at the workshop.

Introduction to Data Analysis with SPSS

Monday, March 11, 2024 at 6 pm in Siena Hall 305

Instructor: Dr. Manimoy Paul

This will be an introductory data analysis session with SPSS. Using user-friendly features in SPSS version 29 this session will demonstrate:

  • How to import data into SPSS
  • How to use basic data analysis in SPSS
  • Data Visualization
  • Data analysis using standard statistical tools
  • How to export data file, output file to a desired format that you want, say, pdf, Excel, Word etc.

Dinner will be served at 6, and the workshop will start at 6:15.

Data Analysis and Visualization with Python

Tuesday, March 12, 2024 at 6 in Roger Bacon 302

Instructor: Dr. Matt Bellis

This workshop will cover the following topics.

  • Reading in and exploring data with pandas
  • Plotting with matplotlib and seaborn
  • Correlation coefficients and Linear regression
  • Decision trees and neural networks (this will be an introduction on how to use it, but not the theory)

Dinner will be served at 6, and the workshop will start at 6:15.

Excel and Tableau

Wednesday, March 13, 2024 at 6 pm in Siena Hall 220


  • Sierra Galusha
  • John Sawitzki

The first half of the workshop will be delving into data cleaning and formatting, as well as general analysis in Excel. We will review the limitations and differences between CSV and XLS/XLSX files, visualizations, and data types. The second half will be uploading data to Tableau, exploring different visuals, and creating dashboards. 

Dinner will be served at 6, and the workshop will start at 6:15.