DataKind

Data for Good

Posted by Shemika Lamare on July 2, 2017
Just completed my first DataDive...it definitely was a great learning experience!

Process:  The Data Dive was from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon. 

  • Friday evening we got to hear presentations from the three non-profits and learn what they were hoping to accomplish with the data. I chose to work with Concrn they are a non-profit that is an alternative to 911 and they are located in the Tenderloin of SF (they do have another location). They have a phone app that you can use to report an issue and let them know about someone in distress. They dispatch receives the message and sends someone to the location. I think this is a great mission and so I decide to join the team. 
  • Saturday we had a team meeting and then we then broke up the tasks and formed even smaller teams. I worked with one other person and our goal was to make charts that they could use to find areas of improvement for their dispatch team.
  • Sunday we finished the last touches of our projects and prepped for the presentation. 

Presentation/Prototype: We aren't allowed to show any of the data and presentation materials because it is owned by the non-profit and had confidential information. So I'll give a synospis of what we did. We used ggplot to make a chart of the months and time of day with frequency of responses; the purpose of this was to show the peak times and give Concrn a better idea of when they should ensure they have more staff on-call.

The Challenges: We had some difficulties with programming, but that is normal. It was nice that they even had mentors there for us to ask questions when we were stuck!  

What I learned: It was not as intimidating as I thought it would be, everyone was really nice and helpful. And I got to use R and Shiny, which was cool since I haven't used R since college. I learned a ton about the data science process and other tools to use for learning R. 

What's happen's next: I will definitely attend future Data Dives, its a great way to network and meet others in the Data Science field!