Actian Avalanche Application Ideation Challenge










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    Challenge Overview


    1st - $5000

    2nd - $2500

    3rd - $1000

    4th - $500


    Checkpoint Prizes: We will give up to 5 checkpoint prizes, $100 each. The checkpoint submission deadline is at 23:59:59 Jun 18 EST. This is also a great opportunity for you to receive some feedback privately or through email.

    Challenge Overview

    We are looking for a creative app that does data analytics that just so happens to leverage Avalanche!


    Actian has just released the cloud data warehouse managed service in AWS. Actian Avalanche can provide up to 20-times the performance at a third of the cost of alternative offerings at an enterprise-class scale with superior concurrency. We would like to build a demo application that showcases the performance, resiliency and the concurrency advantage of our service, compared to the other cloud data warehouses that exist in AWS. We would like this challenge to showcase these advantages by building an application with a data science and analytics-oriented use case.

    Task Detail

    Technology Stack

    You are able to pick your favorite tools from this list, however you must include Actian Avalanche cloud data warehouse.

    • Actian Avalanche cloud data warehouse (required)

    • Python or R

    • KNIME

    • Looker or Tableau

    • Your favorite SQL editor



    It is recommended to bring your own dataset. The sky is the limit. Use any data set that will showcase the power of Avalanche. We recommend a data set in the Terabytes not to exceed 10TB. If you don't have a data set then the Actian Avalanche cloud data warehouse instance that you will work with is already populated with the Bureau of Airline Statistics data for on-time arrival. The details of the data set can be found here. https://www.transtats.bts.gov/DL_SelectFields.asp?Table_ID=236. You should use this data set for and define a use case for your application and build an advanced analytics application for the use case using predictive and ML techniques.


    • Define a use case based on the BTS data set above and build a web-based application for the defined use case. Some examples of use cases are (but not limited to):

      • Predictive application of the worst arrival times

      • A recommendation engine for when to fly

      • A cluster analysis of a geographic area with a graph visualization

      • A flight route simulation with pathing analysis visualization

    • Build an application using Python or R. The application can run in your own AWS VPC and connect to Avalanche via number of supported api’s.

    • The application should include a GUI to visualize of the results


    How to get started

    • Once you consent to the challenge, please send an email to challenge@actian.com and we will provision you with an Avalanche connection. The email will contain all the connection strings and userid

    View the helpful videos here to get started. Click on getting started with Actian Avalanche.

    Final Submission Guidelines


    The final submission must include the following items.

    • A summary of the use case and the application

    • The application and the code written, with instructions to compile and deploy

    • A write-up of the experience working with Avalanche Cloud Data warehouse

    • All submissions should be launched to Docker. The winner will be asked to provide a Github/Lab repository.

    • The most creative application such as the one compares Actian Avalanche with competitors and proves a differentiation (feature or performance) will get a higher ranking.


    The checkpoint submission only requires the summary, including the high-level design, application scenarios, and proposed development plan and comparisons.

    Judging Criteria

    Winners will be determined by a panel of Actian employees, thus the review will be subjective and the review phase longer than normal. We will post timeline updates to the forums.

    • Usefulness of application (20%)

      • What it does and why

      • Correct understanding and use of data set(s)

      • Defined use case example(s)

    • Clever use of data set (15%)

      • Challengers are asked to start with BTS data set mentioned above, but can expand to include other similar data sets

      • Higher data volume, use of multiple data sets possible (10 TB max)

    • Ability to draw insights from multiple unique fields (5%)

      • Emphasize query times that make best use of Avalanche’s features

    • Documentation on ability to compile and deploy app/code (20%)

      • Clearly commented and structured code

      • Easy to follow setup instructions and how to use

      • Detailed description of the user experience of using Avalanche

    • Visualization quality (20%)

      • Multiple visualization options

      • Navigation and understandability

      • Use of color and flows

      • Manipulation and output options

    • Completeness of application that fully implements use case (20%)

      • Clearly summarized use case

      • All deliverables mentioned above that point back to use case


    Extra consideration (up to 20%) will be given to submissions that show:

    • Comparisons of Actian Avalanche with competitors, showing a differentiation (feature, cost and/or performance)

    • Creative visualization implementation is recommended. Usage of frameworks such as d3.js and graph gen will get higher points

    Submission Guideline

    You can submit at most TWO solutions but we encourage you to include your great solution and details as much as possible in a single submission.

    Rules and Constraints

    • You must comply with the terms of the Challenge NDA.

    • You must comply with all applicable laws in submitting a Competition Submission, and you represent that you are authorized to submit the Competition Submission.

    • Actian Corporation (“Actian”) is free to use, disclose, distribute or otherwise exploit Residual Knowledge. Residual Knowledge means information that is retained in the unaided memories of Actian’s employees and contractors who have had access to any Competition Submissions submitted by You. An employee’s or contractor’s memory will be considered unaided if the employee or contractor has not intentionally memorized the information for the purpose of retaining and subsequently using or disclosing it; and

    • If You provide comments, criticism, suggested improvements, test results, answers to questions, and other feedback regarding the function, features, and other characteristics of the Actian products in written or oral form (“Feedback”), You agree that all Feedback is the property of Actian and may be used, reproduced, adapted, modified, distributed, and otherwise exploited by Actian in any manner and for any purpose.

    • You are not entitled to any compensation from Actian or any of the benefits which Actian may make available to its employees, and You are not authorized to make any representation, contract or commitment on behalf of Actian.

    • Employees and direct and indirect subcontractors of Actian Corporation and its subsidiaries and other affiliates, and employees and direct and indirect subcontractors of Actian’s partners (including TopCoder and its affiliates) are not eligible to participate in the challenge.

    • You may only use data or images that are open and that can be shared with anyone in the world and which is freely available or to which you have rights to use and share the data in submitting such data and images.

    • You may only use software that you are licensed and permitted by law to use.


    Reliability Rating and Bonus

    For challenges that have a reliability bonus, the bonus depends on the reliability rating at the moment of registration for that project. A participant with no previous projects is considered to have no reliability rating, and therefore gets no bonus. Reliability bonus does not apply to Digital Run winnings. Since reliability rating is based on the past 15 projects, it can only have 15 discrete values.
    Read more.


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