According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the importance of such traditions is the "wealth of knowledge and skills that is transmitted through it from one generation to the next."
The new Seneca Arts and Culteral Center in Western New York State sustains skills for weaving, pottery making, story telling, dancing, Iroquois languages, and processing of white corn in the traditions kept by the Native Americans before the arrival of Europeans. The Center is run by Friends of Ganondagan, a non-profit mostly volunteer entity, and funded in part by a gift shop. The ability to forecast shop traffic and optimize inventory levels can reduce the gift shop costs significantly and improve the financial health of the Center. Useful forecasts, inventory control, and market-basket recommendations are the objectives of the 2017 Up-Stat Data Competition.
A reaserch team entering the competition must submit a report, no longer than 10 pages, that provides one or more of the following:
- Visualizations of foot traffic in the center and how it relates to factors such as the day-of-week and events.
- Useful characterizations of which items sell quickly, and which sit on the shelf a long time.
- Predictions of which items sell as a function of type of event, holidays, or other factors that are known in advance.
- Associations of items that sell together, to allow the shop keeper to suggest to a buyer something else the buyer might be interested in.
The data consists of the following tables:
- Attendance: Daily attendance for the Cultural Center and Park Grounds. Special events and special hours of opening are included.
- Items Sold: Sales by date, time, and item in the Gift Shop from its opening on 24 October 2015 through 30 December 2016
- Tenders: Sales by date, time, and customer, including form of payment
- Inventory: Stock on hand on 12/30/2016. For some items, the dates and amounts that items arrived at the shop are recorded.
- Zipcodes: Zipcodes of a sample of Center visitors
A Facebook page will be available to ask questions about the contest and the gift center.
Each team's entry will be reviewed by three different referees using a scholarly publication review style. The team's report will be assigned to a panel of three independent reviewers chosen by the UP-STAT 2017 organizing committee.
The merit of each entry will be measured according to the following 5 criteria
- Appeal and Compelling nature of the recommendations (20 points)
- Thoroughness/Completeness and Maturity of the analysis (20 points)
- Correctness and Authenticity of the Methods used (20 points)
- Clarity, readability and overall professional quality of the final report (20 points)
- Usefulness, usability, practicality and insights from the conclusions presented (20 points)
The reviews will be kept anonymous. To help with that teams are required to submit two versions of their report, one with their affiliations and the other without their affiliations