BigSurv20 Big Data Challenge

BigSurv20 Big Data Challenge Status: The BigSurv20 scientific committee is exploring ways to host the big data challenge as part of the virtual BigSurv20. Stay turned for more information.

Big Data Challenge Overview: Like BigSurv18, BigSurv20 will attempt to host a data science event: the big data challenge. In order to avoid privacy issues and legal procedures, the big data challenge will not use existing data like BigSurv18.

Instead, BigSurv20 teams will be invited to create and evaluate big data generating smart systems. They will need to prove and demonstrate in-person at the conference that the systems are feasible in practice and that the resulting big data are sufficient to solve the challenge that was posed to them.

Who Can Submit A Challenge?

Between January 17 and May 15, the BigSurv20 website will be open for the submission of challenges. The challenges can be submitted through this online form. A challenge can be submitted by anyone. A challenge should invite teams to create a solution to an existing need in the area of social statistics using a smart (sensor) system. Challenge topics may be in areas like consumption, environment, health, labor conditions, lifestyle and living conditions. Challenge owners are invited to pitch their challenge at the start of the event and to coach teams that are working on their challenges. The BigSurv20 scientific committee is available for information and questions about suitable challenges. Simply email us at [email protected].

What Do We Mean When We Say “Smart Systems”?    

A smart (sensor) system refers to a hybrid form of data collection that mixes existing big data, new sensor data and new survey data. Big data challenge teams need to design such hybrid forms of data collection and develop a proof-of-concept, ideally through an on-site unit test. In order to create smart systems, hardware and sensors will be provided to the participating teams at the conference.      

How Does My Team Win The Challenge?

There are two sets of requirements that teams must follow in order to possibly win the Challenge – agreeing to and signing the Conditions for Participation documents and adhering to the Challenge Rules. Conditions for participation need to be signed by participating teams at the start of the event. Each participating team will receive the Conditions for Participation documents in advance so they have a chance to reach through and ensure they understand what they are agreeing to. The Challenge Rules will be posted here before June 1, 2020. Teams will be scored on the following four aspects: Novelty, Feasibility, Scalability, and Usability. A jury made up of at least 3 experts from across disciplines will score each team. Jury members will be announced before June 1, 2020. The winning team will be awarded a gift card for each participating member and the opportunity to present their solution at the main conference.          

Important Information For Challenge Owners and Responding Teams

Big Data Challenge Dates: November 3 and 4 (second day overlaps with main conference)

Location: In walking distance of the BigSurv20 main conference

Structure and Format:    

  • A team consists of three or four members
  • Teams remain owners of the solutions, code and systems they develop during the challenge, but the ideas behind their contributions must be presented and, consequently, become public property
  • Teams get availability on-site of hardware, including sensors, and software needed to solve the challenge
  • Data challenge owners cannot be data challenge team members
  • Catering (drinks and meals) will be provided throughout the event
  • Team members are free to attend the main conference
  • There is no registration fee for the big data challenge. However, if team members would like to attend the main conference in addition to the big data challenge, they will need to register and pay the conference registration fee.

What You Need To Do:

  • If you are a challenge owner, submit your challenge idea between January 15, 2020 and May 15, 2020
  • If you are a responding team or individual, register between June 1, 2020 and September 15, 2020


  • January 15: The BigSurv website is open for the submission of challenges
  • May 15: Closing date for submission of challenges to the BigSurv website
  • Late May: Decision on selected challenges
  • June 1: Online registration starts for big data challenge teams
  • September 15:  Closing date for registration for big data challenge teams
  • November 3: Start of big data challenge (choice and assignment of challenges to teams, pitches of challenge owners, distribution of hardware and software)
  • November 4: Presentation of solutions at main conference and awarding of winning team

What if You Have Questions?