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Top 8 Data Science Competitions To Consider in 2021

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  • Difficulty Level : Easy
  • Last Updated : 18 Feb, 2022
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If you want to learn more about Data Science and expand your abilities, then participating in competitions is the best option. They allow you to learn the best practices in Data Science while also understanding problem-solving skills and brainstorming with lots of people to solve a challenge. Another advantage of competitions is that they allow you to push the boundaries of Data science and use your creativity to find new solutions. In other words, they are the best way to learning how to find feasible solutions for big data, a skill that will be very useful in your data science job! So this article provides the most popular data science competitions in which you can participate in 2021 and enrich your knowledge.


Some of these competitions are held annually like the Topcoder Open or the Iron Viz Championship. Some other platforms host competitions all year round for different organizations and companies. So go on, check out these data science competitions, and who knows, you may even win the prizes this year!

1. Kaggle

Kaggle is one of the most popular platforms in the world for Data Science! And there are a lot of competitions on Kaggle that you can enter to sharpen your data science skills. These competitions range from identifying wheat using image analysis to predicting lung function decline due to pulmonary fibrosis. These competitions allow the brightest minds in data science to compete and obtain some solutions to serious problems in the world (while winning a cash prize is just a bonus!) So if are new to data science competitions, then you should start with Kaggle. There are some easy competitions you can practice on and then move on to the active world-changing competitions with hefty cash prizes.

2. International Data Analysis Olympiad (IDAHO)

The International Data Analysis Olympiad is a data science competition that is open to everyone, whether they be undergraduate, postgraduate, or Ph.D. students or even company employees or new data scientists. This competition aims to increase the skills of the professionals in data science so that they can adequately fill the industry demand in this field. There are 2 rounds in the IDAHO. The first round is a data science competition where the participants are provided a labeled training data set and asked to predict the test data. The second round focuses more on efficiency and so the participants have to solve the same problem as the first round but with tight restrictions on time and memory.

3. DrivenData

DrivenData is an online platform that aims to solve some of the biggest social challenges in the world using innovations in data science. Consequently, it has various online challenges that last two to three months and various data scientists compete in these challenges to find the best solution for difficult predictive problems that occur in the real world. Some of the online challenges include detecting hateful content in memes, predicting dengue disease spread, predicting damage to buildings by earthquakes, etc. Since these challenges aim to solve problems and learn more about data science, the code submitted by the winners is released under an open-source license so that everyone and learn and improve.

4. Topcoder

Topcoder has many different challenges that allow participants to learn more about data science also win prices at the same time! Most of the challenges offer reward money but some are just there to learn and grow. The most famous challenge is the annual Topcoder Open which has various competition tracks based on data science, design, competitive programming, and software development. The most successful candidates are invited for a free one-week trip to the on-site finals, where they can win lots of prizes also learn from each other. TopCoder also has smaller regional events throughout the year that are not as big as Topcoder Open but still allow different people to participate and improve their skills.

5. Codalab

Codalab is an open-source platform that has various data science competitions. These competitions do not have a high range of cash prizes, but they still offer participants the opportunity to learn more about data science and create efficient code. These competitions are a great way to learn more about collaboration and finding solutions with a team as Codalab focuses on the programming and code-building of data in the competitions. Currently, the most popular of these include the Liver Tumor Segmentation Challenge, Microsoft COCO Image Captioning Challenge, MAFAT Radar Challenge, etc. BTW the MAFAT Radar Challenge offers a 40,000 USD reward!

6. DataHack

DataHack is a platform provided by Analytics Vidhya that hosts a lot of Data science hackathons. You can compete with expert data science and machine learning professionals from all over the world and work on real-life data science problems in these hackathons while learning a lot of new skills. There are a lot of prizes you can win in these hackathons and some even offer job opportunities at top companies. DataHack also hosts exclusive data science events by Analytics Vidhya where you can interact directly with leaders in the data science and machine learning community.

7. Iron Viz

Iron Viz is a data visualization competition that is hosted by Tableau. It allows data scientists from all over to world to compete with each other in creating the best data visualization that is beautiful as well as informative. Iron Viz has 2 rounds, namely the Iron Viz Qualifier and the Iron Viz Championship. Everyone can participate in the Iron Viz Qualifier which is an online competition based on a Qualifier Theme. The theme for 2020 was Health and wellness (Which is apt considering the current issues the world is facing!) The final three participants move on to the Iron Viz Championship which is a live event. The only thing that participants need to get started is access to the Tableau Desktop. The free version of the software, Tableau Desktop Public Edition is also available.

8. Machine Hack

Machine Hack is an online platform that has various machine learning competitions that you can use to test and practice your ML skills. All the hackathons provide a unique opportunity to compete against data scientists from all over the world and enhance your data science skills. A big advantage of these hackathons is that companies also scope unique talent from here so top performers may even get job offers! Machine Hack also has an option for practicing your data science and machine learning skills so that you can compete when you are fully prepared. There is also a community contribution section where more than 10,000 Data Scientists and Machine Learning Developers share their experiences, tips, tutorials, etc so that other participants can learn from them.

All of these competitions and hackathons are a great way to enhance your knowledge. You can even think of them as training wheels that prepare you for handling data and finding optimal solutions in data science. So you should participate in these competitions and not worry about winning or losing. Because even if you don’t get prizes, you still learn a lot and that’s a WIN-WIN situation!

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