Frequently Asked Questions

Please check back frequently.

  1. How do I submit my solution?
    Submissions must be in MS-Word format using the template available here.
    Once your solution is completed, you can submit it on the submission page in the participants area.
  2. Can several people enter as a team?
    Yes, a team may participate. The only requirement is that each person on the team must register and click the "Download data" link in the participant's dashboard to sign the non-disclosure agreement. You will be asked to list your team members when you submit your solution. Please make note of all the team members in your submission as well.
  3. I am overseas from the United States. Since the event will be held in the USA, will I be able to participate?
    Yes, you are eligible to compete in the contest. The event will be held in the state of Iowa (to be confirmed); however if you are selected as a finalist and you present at the event, you will be provided $1,000 for travel expenses.
  4. Am I allowed to publish my entry in a journal?
    Technically, the work may be published; however the data may not be published or publicized in any way, and is protected by the non-disclosure agreement that you sign when you download it.
  5. May I use the Principal Challenge in Analytics Innovation data for educational purposes?
    The data may only be used for the purposes of the contest so no, it may not be used for educational or any other purposes.
  6. I work for a large financial company – can I compete?
    Employees or people who are associated with large financial companies are not eligible to compete. Please contact us if you have any questions about whether or not you are allowed to participate.
  7. What is the tolerance allowed with our results of prediction?
    There is no specified tolerance on the deviation of your predictions from the actual values. Your goal is to minimize the total error of your model, represented by the spearman correlation and top decile performance as discussed in the challenge statement.
  8. Is Norm_Ret_F6M normalized by mean and SD same as Z-Score?
    Yes, the mean return of the time period was subtracted from the actual return and divided by the standard deviation. This is equivalent to a Z-score.
  9. What is the purpose of stock_level_sample file? Is it a subset of stock_level_data file?
    The stock_level_sample file is simply a subset of the stock_level_data file. This was provided to give the contestants an idea of the format of the data before downloading and reading in the much larger stock_level_data file.
  10. Does the order of the observations matter?
    The order of the observations does not matter for creating the results. The only restriction is that all observations must be present and have a predicted rank.