Summer Updates from DataKind

June 11, 2012

Summer is here at DataKind, and with it, a report from our latest DataDive, an exciting honor, and big plans for the near future. We’re excited to bring you a summary of our latest and greatest, and as always, we’re grateful for your support and interest. 

// Chicago DataDive A Big Success

Our weekend in the Windy City for the Chicago DataDive was absolutely fantastic and we want to thank everyone who played a role in making it a success. From our partners, Red Cross ChicagoChildren’s Memorial Hospital, and Enlace, to the 80 motivated data volunteers who worked tirelessly with the data, to our sponsors from EMC GreenPlum1871OpenNewsREvolution Analytics, and our supporters in the Department of Transportation and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, generosity, creativity, and commitment were abundant. In just two short days, collaborative teams were able to discover helpful and interesting information and develop ongoing relationships, opening the door for meaningful future work to improve services for local citizens.

Thorough details on the proceedings and outcomes are available in an incredible summary written by Paul Davis on Shareable, and the presentations each team put together are available on the wiki, but we can’t resist a quick overview of the amazing work that was accomplished. The Children’s Memorial Hospital group worked to help geographically track youth violence and created a set of tools that hospital staff can use in ongoing collection and analysis. Volunteers working with Enlace were able to assist in the search for correlations between community crime and school performance to guide future research, developing maps and unraveling interesting trends. The Red Cross Chicago team worked together to investigate how resources might best be allocated to strategically respond to disasters, finding insights through mapping and Google Fusion tables. And, a Data Pot Luck was born to keep the spirit and work moving forward! Yet again, we’ve been blown away by what can happen when data scientists get together with non-profits to serve the greater good.

// Jake Porway Named Emerging Explorer

DataKind is proud to announce founder Jake Porway’s recent selection to the 2012 class of National Geographic Emerging Explorers.  Along with 14 other inspiring leaders early in their careers, Jake was chosen based on his recent work with DataKind and its potential for positive impact in the global community.  The honor includes funding for use in continued exploration, as well as a feature in National Geographic and the opportunity to engage with other amazing trailblazers. The 2012 Explorers class represents individuals from multiple exciting fields, and we're honored to have Jake among such a distinguished group!

// DataKind Goes Full Time

As most of you know, DataKind launched last year out of a simple blog post.  Since that time, we’ve been growing faster than we’d ever imagined was possible.  We’ve been hosting DataDives all over the country, building partnerships, and tapping into the momentum of the data community. Your energy, enthusiasm, and phenomenal support have shown us that this initiative deserves to be more than just a weekend project, and we're happy to share that DataKind officially became a full-time organization on June 1! We're incredibly excited to be focusing our efforts completely on building this community with you, and you can expect to see a major expansion of the DataCorps, a roll out of a new site, and much, much more in the near future. We can’t wait to share what we’ve got in store, so stay tuned!