MONDAY, MARCH 6, 2023, 9:00 AM – 6:30 PM

TUESDAY, MARCH 7, 2023, 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM


The goal of the NC Datathon is to leverage technology and data to develop innovative solutions for addressing complex problems. This event brings together university and student-led teams from across North Carolina and challenges them to solve an education-related problem by using multiple sources of data.

Teams work to develop applications, dashboards, and/or other solutions to the problem, then present their projects to a panel of expert judges and conference attendees who vote for the best solution and presentation. The two-day event includes keynote speakers, team work time, presentations, judging, and awarding of winners.

The Challenge

We know that student access to out-of-school enrichment experiences can have a positive impact on academic achievement, but students of colorlow-income students, and students with disabilities often are less likely to have access to these educational resources than are many of their peers.

Teams will use data to construct a statewide Out-of-School Learning Opportunities Index that demonstrates the relative accessibility of out-of-school resources for learning to K-12 students in different communities across the state. This index could take the form of a multidimensional scale, an application, a dashboard, an interactive map, and/or other data visualization format. Sample indices that teams can reference as they develop their solutions are:

Questions to Consider

  • What are the services and resources that students need outside of the classroom to be successful in learning?
  • What is currently known about if and how students across the state access one or more of these supports?
  • Where are there opportunities to expand access intentionally and strategically to out of school support services and resources? What would that expansion look like?
  • What is the best equation or data analysis process teams can create and measure the value of out-of-school supports?
  • What is the right community level of analysis? Town? County? Region?
    • What are your options for grouping or clustering categories of opportunities?
    • How do you value or weight categories relative to each other?
  • How do certain factors (e.g., travel requirement, cost, experience required, etc.) affect those weights?
  • How do you value or weight certain within-category entries?
  • What do you do about extracurricular areas for which no data have been provided? For which no data appear to be available?
  • What do you do when you get conflicting information about a resource from different data sources?
  • What do you do when the information you can find in the data is incomplete or inadequate?

The Data

The 2023 datasets are available here. Teams are encouraged to use the publicly available data sets to develop their solutions. Teams are welcome to identify and utilize additional data sources so long as send them to The Hunt Institute to share with other teams. Please contact Robel Kelkile, Policy Analyst at The Hunt Institute, at to share additional datasets by Thursday, March 2nd, 2023, at 5:00pm ET.

Team Expectations


  • Teams will use publicly available data in their solution development.
  • Teams should bring their laptops, ID, cellphone, chargers, and headphones.
  • Teams can choose the database management system they are most comfortable with using during the Datathon.
  • The Hunt Institute will not provide software to the teams. Some examples of tools you can use to develop your project and presentation include Excel, Gsuite, Video Editor, PowerPoint, Microsoft Teams, python, anaconda distribution, PowerPoint, plotly, ArcGIS, PowerBI, Canva, Power BI, Excel, Heat Map technology, OBS, R, Rstudio, Vegas, Google API, Python, Data viz tools, etc.
  • Team projects should be as practical as possible rather than theoretical, but each team should develop the solution that best fits their skills.


  • Project presentations must be submitted as a four-minute recorded presentation.
  • Judges will only watch the first four minutes of the team presentation.
  • The Hunt Institute will not provide equipment to record – teams should be prepared to use their own recording devices (laptops, cell phones, etc. are acceptable).
  • Introduce your team name, team number, and participants in the introduction of your presentation.
  • State the problem, your solution, how you got there, the value proposition, and value to the state of North Carolina.
  • Teams will receive a link to submit their presentation.
  • Teams must submit their final, recorded presentation by 2:30 PM on Tuesday, March 7th, 2023. If teams miss the deadline, their project submissions will not be played or be considered for judging.


Below please find a guide for how your team should prioritize your work time throughout the two-day competition.

  • March 6, 10:25 AM – 12:00 PM: Project development, data review and organization
  • March 6, 1:00 – 5:00 PM: Data analysis
  • March 7, 9:15 AM – 12:00 PM: Application/dashboard/solution development
  • March 7, 1:00 – 2:30 PM: Presentation development and submission

Mentor Expectations


  • Mentors will provide guidance, offer suggestions, and serve as a sounding board for individual teams.
  • Mentors can attend all or part of the NC Datathon event. There is no registration fee or cost to attend.
  • Mentors will rotate among teams to provide support in the following areas of expertise:
    • Project Development:
      • Helping teams understand why the topic is important.
      • Helping teams connect the dots between different variables.
      • Asking critical questions regarding project structure/format.
    • Data Analysis and Visualization:
      • Explaining how to run certain analyses.
    • Application/Dashboard Development:
      • Supporting on building teams’ solutions.  
    • Public Speaking:
      • Explaining critical elements, and best practices for effective communication, and the support in developing recorded presentations.
    • North Carolina-Specific Content Knowledge:
      • Sharing existing North Carolina indices or other state specific resources.
  • Mentors can provide feedback to teams and will provide suggestions, thoughts, ideas, and advice on goals, activities, and progress, as well as their presentation to the judges.
  • Mentors should be proactive in supporting each team but are asked to let teams lead the work. Mentors should introduce themselves when they join a team, ask questions, and provide feedback as teams analyze data and conceptualize their solution.
  • Mentors will also have the opportunity to provide support virtually for teams who are preparing for Datathon the week prior to the event.

2023 NC Datathon Mentor Orientation Call


Frequently Asked Questions


What is The Hunt Institute? Who else is leading this event?

The Hunt Institute brings together people and resources to inspire and inform elected officials and policymakers about key issues in education, resulting in visionary leaders who are prepared to take strategic action for greater educational outcomes and student success. This event is hosted by The Hunt Institute in partnership with the Office of Governor Roy Cooper, the North Carolina Department of Information Technology, and the Government Data Analytics Center. This event is made possible by the John M. Belk Endowment.

What is the goal of the Datathon?

The goal of this event is to leverage technology and data to develop innovative solutions for addressing complex problems. Teams are challenged to use multiple sources of data to develop applications, dashboards, and/or solutions to explore the relationship between the digital divide and postsecondary educational attainment.

Who can participate? What skills do I need to participate?

Anyone with a data analysis background can participate in this event. We are inviting student-led teams to compete. The only skills required are data analysis, creativity, and passion about equitable educational outcomes for students.

How many people can be on a team?

Each team can have up to five people.

Do I need to be available for the entire two days of the event?

The agenda includes keynote speakers but is primarily made up of dedicated time for teams to work on their solutions and presentations. While teams can use as little or as much of the team time as they need, we anticipate teams needing the full two days to develop their solution and presentation.

What should I bring to the Datathon?

Attendees should bring their laptop, ID, cellphone, and chargers.

Can we use other data? Are we allowed to bring other data?

Yes, teams are allowed to bring their own data so long as they make the data available to all other participating teams. Please send additional data sources to Robel Kelkile, Policy Analyst at The Hunt Institute, at by Thursday, March 2nd, 2023, at 5:00 PM to ensure it will be included in the competition.

How much does it cost to attend?

The NC Datathon is free for attendees. All meals provided at the event are free of cost.

What does the winning team receive?

The winning team receives a monetary prize.

What are the event center’s COVID policies?

The city of Raleigh does not require masks to be worn indoors for those who are vaccinated. We will continue to monitor the situation and will send an update if this changes. The Hunt Institute will be taking all possible precautions recommended by the CDC to ensure the health and safety of all attendees.

Will there be parking available at the StateView Hotel and Park Alumni Center?

Yes, there is free, onsite parking available at the venue.


Past Datathons

2022 North Carolina Datathon


The Challenge: The digital divide has been a long-standing challenge for learners across North Carolina. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, access to digital devices and the internet was inconsistent across both rural and urban areas of our state. This digital divide has caused gaps in all levels of education, including postsecondary attainment. As North Carolina maintains a focus on meeting our postsecondary attainment goal of 2 million adults with high credentials or postsecondary degrees by 2030, closing the gaps in digital access will be a crucial strategy towards success. Teams will create data-driven solutions to address the inequitable gaps in postsecondary attainment rates caused by the digital divide.

Questions to Consider:

  • What do we know about who is most affected by the digital divide?
  • What do we know about postsecondary attainment rates in North Carolina and how they compare across demographic groups?
  • How could North Carolina better track the effects of the digital divide?
  • What data is missing and/or required to understand the state’s digital divide and future postsecondary education attainment rates?

2022 North Carolina Education Datathon winner: Edu-TASTIC

2022 North Carolina Education Datathon honorable mention: Team NCSSM

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