UMassD students win first place at DataFest 2022

UMass Dartmouth Big Data Club team won the American Statistical Association's Best Visualization award for the fourth consecutive year

From left to right: Uday Kant Jha, Kevin Chen, John Willy, Salvador Balkus, Bharatendra Rai

Members of the UMass Dartmouth Big Data Club took first place in two of the three awards at the 2022 DataFest competition, winning Best Visualization for the fourth consecutive year, as well as Best Insight, given to the team with the best overall analysis. DataFest, organized by the American Statistical Association, is an annual three-day event involving 44 participants from four academic institutions. Over the course of 36 hours, each team analyzed a large dataset, constructing data visualizations and extracting valuable insights before presenting to a panel of judges.

“UMass Dartmouth's team had an exceptional performance for the 5th year in a row, sweeping two of three available awards at the competition,” said Bharatendra Rai, chairperson for the Department of Decision and Information Sciences and faculty advisor for the Big Data Club. “Our team combined skills in coding, data analysis/visualization, and oral presentation to impress not only judges but even other competing teams in a marathon 36-hour effort to emerge winners. This was our team's most stellar performance yet.”

“I personally found it to be one of the most rewarding learning experiences that I've done in my entire college career. I look forward to attending the next one,” said McCord Murray, a Data Science & Mathematics double major.

“Our dynamic dashboard, which included variable selection widgets to update charts automatically, was one of my favorite projects that we’ve completed,” added Salvador Balkus, president of the Big Data Club. “Here’s to our continued excellence in data science!” 

Participants included:

  • Salvador Balkus (president of Big Data Club, Data Science major)
  • John Willy (Computer Science)
  • Kevin Chen (Computer Science)
  • McCord Murray (Data Science & Mathematics double major)
  • Uday Kant Jha (faculty advisor, Charlton College of Business)
  • Bharatendra Rai (ASA DataFest organizing member & faculty advisor for UMassD's Big Data Club)


Charlton College of Business, College of Engineering, Date: Year 2022, Departments Student Activities, Features Student Research, News and Public Information