Creating the Optimal Speed Dating Solution

For my marketing analytics class, my group looked to see if we could create the optimal speed dating solution using data from the Columbia Business School that we found on Kaggle.

The Data

Data was collected through a speed dating experiment conducted by Columbia professors, Ray Fisman and Sheena Iyengar. The data was collected from 2002-2004 at various speed dating events. Every date was four minutes long and every participant was asked if they would like to see that person again. We had information on demographics, dating habits, self-perception, beliefs on what others find valuable in a mate and lifestyle information.

What importance does race play on attraction?

As a team we looked at several factors that could contribute to an ideal dating solution, but I personally focused on whether or not race played a factor in people’s preferences.

Overview of the data

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The majority of the population was white. Participants were asked how important race was on a scale of 1-10, 1 being not important at all and 10 being very important, most said it was not important to them.


Overall white females felt stronger about race than any other gender/race group, but all average importances were under 5, which would be average.

Finding relative importances

Using people’s races and whether or not they wanted to see their date again, I ran a binomial logit model to see whether or not race was a significant factor when they chose to see their date again.

Initial Findings


I was kind of shocked to see that there was such a preference for minorities especially since Christian Rudder’s data from OkCupid says otherwise. So I decided to run the analysis for different groups.

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So who was the pickiest? Black respondents had the greatest preference for individuals of the same race and white females and asian males have an aversion to each other.


Some groups of people have a slight preference for certain races when it comes to picking a partner, but not unlike Christian Rudder’s findings, the overall importance compared to other factors is not as great.

What we found was that attractiveness mattered most in liking a person.

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