Once again, I was honored to write a guest post for DataKind. This time is was on the spread of open source software by data-do-gooders. A couple years ago, DataKind hosted a DataDive in Washington D.C. and some of the participants created a mapping software project titled DataTools 2.0. Since then, it has been replicated by a number of groups around the globe. Read the full post on the DataKind blog to find out more.
Sound appealing? Probably not! Unfortunately, this is the sad reality for many children in Sub-Saharan Africa. Even worse, this sad reality is only for those children lucky enough to even attend school. In the world today, there are 58 million out of school children, and 43% of those children will never start attending school.
FFunction, a Montreal-based data visualization studio, and UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) recently launched 2 interactive data visualizations. Both are creative and innovative ways to present information.
- Out of School Children – Explore how gender, income, and location affect a child’s education
- Left Behind – View how and why African girls struggle to obtain an education
For more on the topic, see my entire guest post on the DataKind blog, Data Visualization for Good – Education in Africa
DataKind, the organization matching nonprofits and data scientists, is looking for applications for Local Chapters.
The motto for DataKind is:
Let’s use data to change the world.
DataKind hopes to add 3-5 chapters by the end of 2014. A Chapter will be responsible for building relationships between organiztions and data scientists, promoting data science for the social sector, and organizing data events. If you are a skilled data scientist with a passion to change the world, this might be an excellent opportunity. What do you think, are you going to apply?
- Kaggle They make data science a sport, enough said.
- DataKind DataKind may not technically be a startup because it is a nonprofit, but they are doing cool stuff. They match nonprofit organizations with people that love to analyze data and create visualizations.
- Cloudera They call themselves “The Platform for Big Data”. They are working hard to make hadoop easier to use.
- Coursera Coursera is an education startup, but with 2 Computer Science Professors as founders, you can bet they are crunching a lot of data about how people learn.
- BigML They are trying to make machine learning available to everyone. Machine Learning as a Service!
Jake Porway of DataKind gives another entertaining talk. This one is more of a Superhero story. Just watch the video, and it will make sense.
It seems that competitions and meetups for hacking data are all over the place. Coding challenges have been around for a long time. Recently, it appears that data is being thrown into the mix. I think the idea is great. Instead of just hacking some app, why not hack with some data that might help people?
GitHub just concluded with the GitHub Data Challenge. Also, the World’s first ever global data science hackathon occurred last month. The Silicon Prairie has even hosted a couple data-centric hackathons. The Omaha World Herald newspaper organized Hack Omaha to turn government data into something useful. Open Iowa also did a very similar thing for developers, designer, and data-junkies in the Des Moines area. I did not personally attend either of these events, but I was surprised to see these similar types of events occurring in the midwest.
DataKind is busy organizing data dives all over the country, and Kaggle is currently organizing data science competitions for anyone regardless of location. By the way, Kaggle has become one of my favorite sites, and I will be blogging soon about how to quickly get involved.
Anyhow, it appears hackathons with data are here to stay. What data hackathons or competitions do you know about? Are you planning to attend?
We can no longer continue to build development projects without thinking about data, anymore than we could without thinking about a budget.
By Jake Porway of DataKind.
The Non-Profit Organization Data Without Borders has renamed itself to DataKind.
DataKind is an organisation that matches data from non-profit and government organisations with data scientists. DataKind hosts weekend DataDives and they are planning to build a DataCorps. See a previous post, Use Data Science to Help The World, to find out more about what DataKind is all about.