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Hackathon inspires data heroes of tomorrow

September 26, 2017

Data is everywhere. And when used correctly, data can be “hacked” to reveal important trends, patterns and conclusions that have the potential to better shape the health and future of our community. Data analytics play an increasingly large role in the operations of many San Diego companies, who are creating more jobs every year in this field but struggle to find qualified candidates to fill them.

On September 30, the Biocom Institute’s second annual Student Data Hackathon aimed to inspire young people to become tomorrow’s data analysts—a skill set that is in high demand by Biocom’s members. This year’s theme, Hackathon Heroes, encouraged participants to use real data to ignite actionable change in the community by exploring data about our region’s schools. Hackers searched for trends and drew insights to shed light on the “health” of the education system in San Diego County.

Over 160 student hackers convened to analyze a large dataset compiled by the Voice of San Diego for their fall 2017 Parents Guide to Schools. The dataset includes information about the 700 public schools in San Diego County. The goal was to identify insights that can lead to better decisions, better use of resources, and more equality of opportunity for students.

Thirty teams and 30 individuals competed for cash prizes and internships, leaving with valuable experience using real-world data that is sure to inspire actionable results for our schools while also exposing students to opportunities for careers in various data professions. The San Diego Workforce Partnership is a proud partner, bringing workforce expertise to elevate opportunities for data heroes, including internships and career pathways.

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