The Challenge

The Challenge Is Back!

Deadline for Submissions: Monday, July 17, 2023

Learn by doing while competing in Apra’s fourth annual data science competition! This challenge will charge you with running analytics and forecasting to determine fundraising capacity for an upcoming campaign.

Individuals and teams with members from the same or different organizations are invited to participate. Participants are encouraged to go further with their analyses and use innovative visualizations; however, sometimes the simplest solutions are the best -- use the technologies and methodologies you think would work best for your organization, and be prepared to say why!

Submissions will be judged based on communication, design, and analytical approach. The deadline to submit is Monday, July 17, 2023 by 11:59p.m. CDT. Submissions will be highlighted throughout the Data Science Now conference, and attendees will have an opportunity to explore each submission in more detail during the poster viewing session. 

Additionally, at least two submissions will be featured as part of the Data Science Now conference sessions. Featured participants will have the opportunity to lead breakout discussions to present their approaches to attendees in greater detail. Please note that while you do not need to be registered for Data Science Now to participate in the challenge, virtual delivery of presentations is not supported. In-person attendance by at least one of your team members is required for consideration as a featured participant.

Some participants in the challenge will be recognized in Connections, Apra’s content hub, and will have the opportunity to be featured in additional Apra educational content!

How to Participate:

  1. Email with your intention to participate and, if applicable, a team name under the subject line “2023 Apra Data Science Challenge.”
  2. Download the sample dataset, data dictionary, and poster template here.
  3. Upon receipt of the data files and descriptions, submit your poster summary and full analysis to by Monday, July 17, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. CDT.
  4. All submissions will be reviewed by Apra’s Data Science Committee. Featured participants will be notified by Monday, July 31, 2023 and will be asked to share more about how they approached the challenge at Data Science Now on Monday, August 28th.

Submission Requirements:

Poster Summary: Participants will be provided a powerpoint template to share text highlights and images/tables/graphs related to the analysis. Apra will assign a QR code to each poster for attendees at Data Science Now to learn more and access your full analysis file. The posters will be displayed digitally during the Data Science Now event for attendee viewing and may be used in additional education offerings. 

Full Analysis: Feel free to use whatever format you prefer:

  • Excel Files
  • Dashboards 
  • Powerpoints
  • Written Reports
  • Video Recordings
  • Web Applications
  • Be Creative! (TikTok, YouTube, GIFs)

The Challenge:

Organizational Context

It’s that time again! Hard to think that after a quick interregnum, your organization is ready to start a new fundraising campaign. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to instruct Executive Staff on the goals of that campaign.  

Research Questions

Below are some questions you and your team may choose to consider as you work through this challenge. These are only meant to be suggested starting points, and you are encouraged to take your analysis in any direction you see fit:

  • What is a realistic fundraising goal for the campaign?
  • What about individual departments- what kinds of goals can they set?
  • Is there a creative way to communicate your findings?
  • What broad observations can be gleaned from the donor data?

Data Files and Descriptions

Participants will be provided the data files to utilize for this challenge beginning in June. The data is meant to replicate data found in the real world and may contain missing, duplicated, or otherwise “messy” information. 

Looking for Inspiration? 

Check out the 2020 Data Science Dashboard Challenge winners to get a glimpse into the great work this program produces.

Ready to Begin? 

Email with your intention to participate today!