A look back at DataKind UK's 2016
December 16, 2016

We’re sure many of you are looking forward to the festive season and waving goodbye (and good riddance) to 2016. Here at DataKind UK, we’d like to take a moment to reflect and appreciate all the good stuff that happened this year.

2016 was all about growth and impact. We doubled our number of staff by welcoming Lauren Smith as our Project & Events Coordinator and grew our brilliant team of Chapter Leaders with Kate Vang, Billy Wong and Gianfranco Cecconi joining Rishi Kumar. We got much smarter at selecting and scoping projects, as well as testing new event formats. We ran one-day DataDives for single projects. We experimented with DataJams - a day of data wrangling to better understand the data at hand. Behind the scenes, we’ve been working in partnership with Data Orchard to survey 200 UK charities and social enterprises, interviewing 12 of them to produce a data maturity framework that will be launched in 2017.


We’re pleased to have partnered on projects with the following organisations over the last year. We also provided light touch advice and support to a further 15 charities and social enterprises.


2016 Events Roundup

We’ve had a packed calendar of events from DataDives to DataJams. Find out more below!


DataDive: Cafedirect Producers’ Foundation



Meetup: When the rubber hits the road:

the highs and lows of small data


Workshop: Data Evolution London Workshop            

Workshop: Data Evolution Hereford Workshop


Meetup: When good algorithms go bad…

DataDive: Shared Assets & the Ecological Land Co-operative

blog post here


DataJam: National Council for Voluntary Organisations

Meetup: Data-for-good Summer Social



DataDive: Autumn DataDive




Meetup: data+visual

DataDive: Marks and Spencer

(Internal event for analysts and their charity partners)

blog post here


DataJam and DataDive: DataDiving into

Company Ownership with Global Witness

blog post here



Meetup: Who owns UK companies?   





Project Highlights


  • During a one day DataDive, the Cafedirect Producers’ Foundation (CPF) sought to better understand the smallholder famers they support. For example, the volunteer data scientists showed which factors correlate with higher incomes and how farmers adopt different agricultural practices and innovate. CPF continued working with one of our volunteers on a consultancy basis and they are now figuring out how to empower smallholder farmers to use their own data to inform their businesses.
  • Shared Assets are developing the prototype we produced at a DataDive with our friends over at Outlandish. They are building a platform to explore UK land data because good information on land is crucial to making good decisions about it. Many common good land users struggle to access the information they need e.g. who owns the land, what has it been used for, or where to find new project sites. The prototype pulls together dozens of open data sets enabling common good land users to identify and compare different sites on a range of characteristics, saving them time and money while helping them to make smarter, data-informed decisions.
  • Global Witness managed to get three separate organisations (Open Corporates, OCCRP and the Spend Network) to bring data to a DataDive in November. 50 data scientists descended on the newly released beneficial ownership data showing, for example, that thousands of UK companies are owned by other companies in tax havens and some of these tax-haven-owned companies are in receipt of government contracts.

Things we're excited about in 2017


  • We’re busy prepping for a DataDive with the NSPCC next year in partnership with Credit Suisse (huge thank you to Ben Wilkinson at Credit Suisse for his personal donation to support this work).
  • Watch out Newport - we’re headed your way. We’ll be DataDiving with the Office of National Statistics next year.
  • There’s an exciting schedule of monthly Meetups starting on 24th January - save the date and sign up to our Meetup page to find out more.
  • We’ll be launching an organisational data maturity model for the social sector that we’ve developed with Data Orchard.
  • Plus we’ve got a couple of DataCorps projects up our sleeves. Volunteers will be needed - watch this space!


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