HPCC Systems is a sponsor this event as part of our academic program. It is hosted by the College of Computing and Software Engineering at KSU.

We also took part in this event in 2017 and 2018. For more information about how it went, read our blog post: Fly on the wall - Our first Hackathon.

Date of the eventSeptember 25th-28th 2019
LocationMarietta Campus, J/Atrium Building
EligibilityThis event is open to all KSU CCSE students (ACS, BASIT, IT, CS, SWE, and CGDD) who have passed their first few programming courses. Graduate students who have exempted all transitional courses or have passed at least three 5000 transition courses are also eligible.
HPCC Systems Hackathon Team

Big Data Analytics on HPCC Systems

Are you interested in how analytics can identify trends which help businesses from a wide range of markets improve their decision making?

Join our team and learn how to use the open source HPCC Systems platform and ECL-ML machine learning libraries, to build predictive models in the financial industry.


Conducting property analysis is a valuable way to understand the value of the properties in the marketplace. It is also important when making any financial decisions on whether to buy, hold, or sell. In this hackathon, you will work with the real world property assessment data to conduct property analysis, leveraging the distributed computing environment of HPCC Systems from LexisNexis Risk Solutions Group.

The Office of Property Assessment (OPA) is responsible with determining the value of all real property and is dedicated to doing so in a fair, accurate, and understandable way. A fair assessment process is one that ensures that similar properties with similar characteristics in similar condition have an equal tax burden [1]. 

The Actual Value Initiative (AVI) was implemented in Tax Year 2014 for the assessment of all real property (land and buildings) at their current market value. Market value reflects the approximate amount a property would sell for in today’s real estate market. The purpose of AVI has been to make sure that all values are assessed fairly and in compliance with state laws, statutes, and industry standards. It ensures that properties of equal value get the same assessments [1].

A data dictionary is also provided for a better understanding of the property assessment data (see below).

Reference: [1] https://www.phila.gov/OPA/

Data SourceAccess the data source here: 
Filename: philly::properties
Data Dictionary
General Instructions
  1. Please follow all the guidelines specified by the data provider.
  2. Provide a brief design/tech document describing the proposed solution (2-3 pages max).
  3. Provide the bio of all participants and their roles on the project.
  4. Use the HPCC Systems platform for executing the solution.
Rating Criteria
  1. Innovation involved
  2. Understanding of Big Data patterns and its application to HPCC Systems.
  3. Team work and execution
  4. Presentation quality
Mentors available during the Hackathon

The following mentors will be on site for the duration of the event: TBC

More information about our mentors and how to contact them

Slack ChannelClick here to access Slack channel

What can I do to prepare?

We have many resources available for you to use to familiarise yourself with our technology and how to use it. If you are new to us, then take some time to find out about HPCC Systems and what we do. Find out how HPCC Systems workswhat ECL is and take a look at what goes on in our community.

  • Watch a quick overview video about HPCC Systems
  • Download the HPCC Systems VM. Select the operating systems you are using first and then check the VM download. Follow the installation guide instructions.
    • Note:  We will be using a cloud-based HPCC Systems cluster for the hackathon.
  • You can use your preferred editor to write code but we do have our own, a Windows-based ECL IDE which you can download. On the download page, select Gold and under Operating System, select Windows. Download both the ECL IDE and Client Tools.
  • VS Code is a good code editor if you don't use Windows.  Installation is slightly more complicated:
    1. Download and install VS Code from here if you don't already have it installed.
    2. Download the HPCC Systems Client Tools from here.
      1. Choose your operating system from the popup list.
      2. Choose the appropriate "Client Tools" option for your operating system.  Make sure only one checkbox on the entire page is selected.
      3. Download and install.
    3. Launch VS Code, then search for and install the extension named "ECL (Enterprise Control Language) support for Visual Studio Code".
  • Once you’re up and running, try out a few examples from the installation guide and tutorials.
  • Learn some ECL. This is the language used to write queries. It's easy to use, try it for yourself. Read the documentation or take a training course.
  • Take a look at some video tutorials
  • Take a look at the information and training examples TBC
  • Take a look at our Machine Learning Documentation and Sources.

I have questions, who do I ask?

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