Social Inclusion Platform
Another year and one of the highlights of the hackathon scene came and went – govhack – the now international data hackathon focusing on open government datasets.
Our intrepid team of six, five from Deloitte and one ring in came together and had to figure out what challenges to solve for. Always the hardest part! After much angst – should it be transport, environment or social impact? Our team had tackled climate change as a topic the year before using SEED data sets so this year – as we thought transport would be too popular – we opted for social impact.
After trawling through the sponsor challenges, we ended up looking at how we could help start-ups and small businesses, especially ones focused on social good to make better decisions throughout the value chain of a business.
Firstly, during their initial phases, giving them some data to make decisions on the problem space, issues that were growing, competition from other businesses – basically improving decision making when looking at the demand side of the equation. Then we look at the end of the value chain – giving them a common outcomes framework to work to – so that their work could be measured and to ensure that they focused on issued that mattered and maintained transparency on how they were performing.
Food was surprisingly good this year. The traditional pizza had been banished and replaced with a pretty good curry and salad combination. So hats off to the organisation for taking a chance – there was no riot!
By the end of Friday our team had figured out the problem they wanted to solve and we left feeling good. We even finished the night with a trip with some team forming at Chinatown.
However, by Saturday morning we came back… scratching our heads and trying to figure out exactly what had we agreed to!
With hackathons you can go small or large. Build something niche with an idea that can be easily demonstrated but potentially has little prospect of making an impact, or something large that tackles a big problem but is difficult to explain in a three minute pitch. To that end, most of Saturday was spent trying to figure out how simplify, simplify, simplify. It all seemed so easy when we started…
The tech team got busy finding useful datasets across the overwhelming number of websites and datasets building a demand evaluation dashboard. Data that is never quite right or accurate.
“It is always darkest just before the day dawneth”Thomas Fuller
By the end of Saturday, well we had nothing. Nothing. No dashboard screens. No running code. No video. So just like all hackathons before, night beckoned, the final stretch was upon us and we questioned if we were up for the challenge? Travis, Joe, Michael and Jay
So lets say I’m a morning person but even for me I got up a bit earlier than normal! My job was to create video and pull evidence of assets created together. So by 7am I had the script written, narrated, edited with b-roll stock video footage so we had a solid foundation for the work the rest of the team would complete during the rest of the day.
The day passed with a hectic blur. Travis and Jay worked on demand dashboard pulling views of predictive trends of issues together. Then Joe and Michael started pulling additional views of services needed together. Very helpful and insightful mentors gave advice and we doubled down on more code and machine learning to recommend locations for new services. Umar worked remotely on Sunday and Joe and Umar got a great website together explaining our architecture approach. Jay battled a presentation slide for a few hours on Sunday but it came good in the end!
Who said miracles couldn’t happen?
A frantic rush from start to end. Furious video editing ensued as piece by piece the video came together. With stress levels rising, and the 5pm deadline looming, we managed to submit with 15 minutes to spare.
That was a relief! A job well done and time to say well – we did it! Great job team!!!
Now a 6 week wait for the judges to make their selection.
Always challenging. Always fun! A weekend full of learning. You meet great people and have the opportunity to tackle wicked societal issues.