Blog
Datadive Debrief: New York and San Francisco Datadives
December 25, 2011

This fall we held our first two Data Without Borders events, one in New York in October and another in San Francisco in November. These weekend-long Datadives were chances for 3 NGOs each to team up with volunteer data scientists for just over 24 hours to explore their data, build analyses, and to ask and answer important questions for their mission.

We had a lot of questions going into these events and a lot of experimentation we knew we'd have to do. We knew the events would be great collaborations for data scientists and social orgs, but would anyone come? We were confident we had found good data problems, but were we actually ready to start serving organizations with just local scientists who had never worked together before? We knew we weren't going to solve an organization's big problems in just one day, but would we be able to even show meaningful results? We went into the weekends expecting success, but prepared for the harsh reality that we might have a lot of work ahead of us.

What happened was beyond what we could have ever hoped for. Not only did none of our fears come true but, quite to the contrary, we had greater successes than we had even imagined. Organizations and data scientists alike asked how they could keep working together, emails flowed in asking us to help move the projects forward, and one team's work was shown at the UN General Assembly! We're still improving our Datadive model (data cleaning is still a drudgery oft grumbled about by our participants), but we were thrilled that these first two events were huge successes by all measures. Not only did they show that these two communities are, with some prepping, already able to work together and produce meaningful results, but also that our vision of a world where a global network of data scientists works alongside social organizations is not just a dream, but quickly becoming a reality.

New York Datadive



We were honored to have The UN Global Pulse, The Microfinance Information Exchange Market, and the New York Civil Liberties Union attend as our selected NGO's for our New York Datadive. The work that teams produced ranged from a barrage of website scrapers, to time-lapse visualizations, to statistical analyses.

Click here to see the detailed results from New York.

San Francisco Datadive



We had an amazing group of social organizations at our San Francisco event, including The Grameen Foundation, Benetech, and Mobilizing Health. This event saw deep-dives of data on worker performance, statistics around human rights databases, and the beginnings of an automated prescription system.

Click here to see the detailed results from San Francisco.

Read more posts
January 11, 2022
Our Ethics + Responsible Data Science Practices at DataKind
At DataKind, we take an expansive definition of data ethics and responsible data science as broad terms that can be used to describe the appropriate handling of data...
Read full story
December 21, 2021
Lessons from DataKind San Francisco’s Launch of DataAdvisory Projects
From financial forecasting to targeted advertisements, advancements in data collection and analysis have benefited a myriad of for-profit organizations today.
Read full story
October 14, 2021
Celebrating DataKind’s CEO: An Interview with Lauren Woodman
We’re thrilled to welcome Lauren Woodman as the new CEO of DataKind. She brings to the role over 25 years of experience working at the intersection of technology, development, policy, and NGOs...
Read full story
December 20, 2021
Shining a Light on Community: Looking Back at DataKind’s Virtual DataDive® Event
We hosted a DataDive® event in fall 2021, and with it being the season of giving, we thought what better time to share some highlights and express our deepest gratitude to our partners, volunteers, and sponsors...
Read full story
Blog Archive