Hackathon uses data to make an impact on society

On Friday, November 10, a 48-hour "Social Impact Data Hack 2017" will begin at the University of Tartu, which explores the possibilities of contributing to society by using big data from various public institutions and private enterprises.

The datathon, organised in cooperation with the UT Institute of Computer Science and the Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies, aims to identify social problems, raise awareness, untangle myths and fallacies and provide potential solutions to issues in the society by means of data analysis and machine learning. Marlon Dumas, one of the organisers of the event and Professor in Information Systems, explains the focus of the hackathon: “We keep hearing that data is power. Companies use it to gain competitive advantage in all kinds of businesses. Why not use it to benefit society?”

Over 20 social ideas will be pitched at the hackathon. These include, for example, issues of child welfare, monitoring of crowdsourced processes, analysis of court cases data, predicting the election results, and automated discovery of corruption cases. The participants choose among the ideas and start developing them until Sunday when the results are presented and winners announced.

The hackathon brings together about 200 data and computer scientists, journalists, economists, political scientists, as well as other students and experts. Social Impact Data Hack 2017 is supported by the H2020 grant SoBigData research infrastructure.

For more information, please visit the website of the hackathon and the Facebook event.

Additional information: Marlon Dumas, Professor in Information Systems, 56377557, marlon.dumas@ut.ee