Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Extreme acceleration of innovation: Hackathon

While the entrepreneurs live for speed as at times it is the only weapon they have to be successful, yes, even more so than funding, large corporations due to their various layers find it difficult to comprehend such speed.

It is in the corners of desperation and necessity that gives rise to thinking without boundaries and making the improbable, possible.

Here is an example from the non-profit world.  Non-profit organizations collect data, and at times share data as well.  Yet, they lack the ability to analyze and drive insights from this data as such talent is expensive.  Enter DataKind, a New York based charity:

"A typical DataKind two-day “hackathon” last month in London attracted 50 people who worked in three teams. One pored over the records of Place2Be, which offers counselling to troubled schoolchildren. Crunching the data showed that boys tend to respond better than girls, though girls who lived with only their fathers showed the biggest improvements of all. The charity did not know that."

What is more exciting is:

"The small-talk among the volunteers was of dizzyingly complex statistical and artificial-intelligence techniques. Volunteers included an analyst at Teradata, a data-analytics firm. Around 20 employees attended from Aimia, a firm that mines data from consumer-loyalty programs."

See the article here.

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