Data Science for Social Good: Jigsaw Faculty P.V. Kiran Tells us About his Experience at DataKind Blr – Project Accelerator Night

We sure have a versatile team of faculty at Jigsaw Academy, and we encourage them to go out and use their data science skills for more than just training and mentoring Jigsawites. We were thus really happy when Kiran told us that he was attending the DataKind Bangalore- Project Accelerator Night last month. Thanks Kiran for sharing your experience with us.

DataKind is an NGO with a motive to harness data science for the service of humanity. Recently DataKind BLR, one of their 6 chapters, organized a brain storming session to understand various pain points faced by NGOs present in India. This event was focussed on bringing together experienced data scientists and NGOs with a common goal of finding real-time solutions to data problems.

At the event, we had representation by many NGOs namely Teach for India, Digital Green, Janaagraha and Karnataka Learning Partnership. The event kick started with NGOs introduction , immediately followed by NGO presentations on the respective business processes, real time challenges faced and possible help areas.

Later about 40 of the data scientists present at the event were divided into 4 different panels based on NGOs to further ideate on potential solutions that can help improve their effectiveness in the field. I got an opportunity to be part of Teach for India panel and more in-depth interactions went for about 60 minutes.

Teach for India started out in 2009 as a nationwide movement of outstanding college graduates and young professionals committing two years to teach full-time at under resourced schools and working towards the pursuit of equity in education. Currently, Teach for India is active in 7 cities, with a network of 910 fellows and 660 alumni. One of the Teach for India representatives from Mumbai office provided more details on how various business processes varying from recruitment of TFI fellows to monitoring the performance of these fellows in various schools. Towards the end, based on availability of the data we managed to formulate problem statements for two issues mainly to understand factors behind staff attrition and to identify various drivers that cause children drop outs from TFI affiliated schools. The event concluded with the tentative announcement of Data Jam event which would be about development of the discussed solutions across all the NGOs.

Overall, it was a wonderful experience given the fact that I would possibly be using my data science expertise for some social good. The interactions I had with the NGO representatives helped me to learn more about the kind of projects they are handling, challenges involved and also the aspect of touching human lives. Another interesting thing was the opportunity to network and learn more about the experiences of the fellow data scientists. When I was leaving, I was already looking forward to the next Data Jam event.

To view some pictures from that night click here

Interested in a career in Data Science?
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