Data Mining Competition

Chairs

Andrzej Janusz (Chief Data Scientist, QED Software, Poland)
Yasushi Akiyama (Associate Professor, Saint Mary’s University, Canada)

IJCRS 2024 is excited to announce the 2024 Data Mining Competition in collaboration with Southwest Properties. Showcase your data skills and stand a chance to win various prizes worth $5000.

Are you up for the challenge?

Problem Statement

The property management and apartment rental industry in Halifax lacks a comprehensive and centralized platform for accessing and analyzing up-to-date market rental rates (rent and parking). There is a notable absence of a system that efficiently scrapes or mines the web for rental market data and organizes it into a meaningful dashboard model for the management and leasing team. A tool that could assist the organization in making informed decisions on current competitive rental rates and setting future rates and increases.

Southwest Properties would like to have a tool that captures, sorts by geographic location within the Halifax Regional Municipality and includes the property management firm, apartment building name, building amenities, apartment suite types, monthly rent, square footage and rate per square foot. Additionally, the tool would separately capture any residential monthly parking rates by location, and (if available) whether utilities are additional to the monthly rent.

The dashboard should include current rental products in the marketplace and any planned or under construction developments within the Halifax Municipal geographic market. Key areas would be downtown / Southend Halifax, Central Halifax, Clayton Park, Rockingham, and the Larry Uteck area.

Furthermore, this platform should incorporate predictive analytics to determine the factors influencing rental prices and provide a user-friendly dashboard to compare competitor rates for Southwest to remain competitive with current rents and for forecasting future rental rates for new developments.

About Southwest Properties

With more than 1,500 quality apartments and condos for rent in Halifax, people have called Southwest Properties home for more than 50 years. A Platinum Member of Canada’s Best Managed Companies, Southwest Properties develops, constructs, owns and operates world-class properties. Southwest believes in going beyond the necessary to create inspiring environments by providing the best places to live, shop, work and play, creating lasting relationships with employees, customers and partners.
Southwest Properties webpage: https://southwest.ca

Key challenges

Currently, Southwest creates Google Sheets of competitor analysis in the marketplace. Information is captured manually. It is then integrated with an online platform service to generate a visual and database dashboard. This content is not updated frequently and is time consuming to capture content and input. Southwest would like to expand this dashboard approach and remove the human element of creating the spreadsheet manually.

Tasks

  • Scrape the web for information on the rental market in Halifax Regional Municipality – current apartment buildings and buildings under development or in the approval process. Ensure that the data set you acquire comes from the public domain and that you have the right to use it in your project.
  • Clean the data, organize it using a meaningful database model – location, building type, building amenities, suite types, rental rates per suite type, price per square foot, parking – surface or internal, etc.
  • Provide spatiotemporal data visualization.
  • Identify important variables that determine rental prices – geographic location, amenities etc.
  • Predictive analytics for determining rental prices.

Project Goals & Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this project, Southwest users should have access to a reliable, online dashboard, showing trends & forecasting:

  • Pull both parking and rental rates available online from HRM property management and rental companies or other available sources.
  • Be an accessible and visual dashboard.
  • Allow the most updated data to be exported to MS Excel.
  • Increase our productivity by removing human elements and increase our market intelligence by having access to more data, in real-time.
  • Potentially increase profitability by assisting in setting rental increases and rates.
Submissions

Teams of 1-6 members each can be created. Each team is expected to submit the following:
  • Video presentation
  • PDF of the presentation
  • Link to the demo website
  • Link to the code repository

  • Files for reference

  • Presentation (4.5 MB)   Download
  • Presentation with audio narration (31 MB)   Download
  • Video of the presentation (213 MB)   Download
  • Current company practice (31 MB)   Download

  • Timelines

  • February 7th
  • Preliminary problem statement provided to the participants.
  • February 14th
  • Further explanation including the existing manual process practiced by Southwest in form of videos and presentations will be provided.
  • March 15th
  • Submission site will be made available to the participants.
  • April 15th
  • Last day for first round submissions.
  • May 3rd
  • Five short listed entries will be announced. They will also receive feedback for their submissions.
  • May 10th
  • The shortlisted teams will submit an updated version of their entries. They may also submit a paper that can possibly be considered for publication in the conference proceedings and subsequent journal publication.
  • At the conference
  • The shortlisted entries will present their work during a session in the conference (in-person or remote).

    In case of any questions, please send an email to ijcrs24@cs.smu.ca

    BROCHURE