A profile photograph of Jamie McHale

Jamie McHale

The Data Lab Challenge Competition

06 February 2017

This weekend was the second installment in The Data Lab Challenge Competition with Product Forge. The Challenge is a series of hackathons for Data Science students in Scotland. Students build data-oriented projects and reports that aim to deliver a tangible benefit for Scotland.

I was invited to mentor at the weekend, providing support and advice for the teams, and to help prepare some of the data sets.

There are a wide range of data sets that Product Forge have published on USmart, including a repository of NHS ISD data, for the students to build on.

After seeing the teams work, and listening to the pitches, the key takeaways for me from the weekend were:

  • Teams do better when they just get started, rather than searching for the ‘perfect’ idea or data set.
  • Teams do better by building incrementally, rather than trying to do it all at once.
  • Teams do better when they focus on specific questions they can ask of the data they have, rather than hoping a revelation pops out of the exploration process.

I’m looking forward to the final challenge hack in May — to see what all the teams end up producing. For more news on this, and further hacks follow The Data Lab and Product Forge on Twitter.

 
A profile photograph of Jamie McHale
Jamie McHale

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