DataPotluck Data Tasting

Data Potluck is a meetup group run by Young-Jin KimMatt Gee, and Nicholas Mader that helps to connect the nonprofit and data science worlds.

One of the features of the meetup is an exercise called Data Tasting  where the group takes a set of data from a government agency or non-profit organization and figures out ways to make that data useful to the agency.


Data Potluck organizer Young-Jin Kim talks about San Francisco’s dataset.

Here’s Matt Gee introducing the format for the  Data Tasting.  It starts with an explanation of the data set and framing the problem the agency faces.

For this tasting, we’re looking at the San Francisco Sustainability Datasheet.  San Francisco has adopted the Ecodistricts framework as a way to help cities plan for sustainable neighborhoods. The city has given the group fifty-three different datasets that impact the issue. The question that the city has is ‘What is the likelihood that you are going to leave this city?” Given everything the city knows about the neighborhoods, how can the city improve neighborhoods where people want to stay?”

After going over the dataset, Matt opens the floor up for discussion where they discuss possible solutions to the problem using these datasets.

Why Data Tastings matter

Data Tastings provide a unique opportunity for civic organizations to tap into the immense data science talent that Chicago has to offer. At the same time, it allows civic minded data gurus to understand more about the problems faced by civic organizations and to be able to ask detailed questions about the daily operations of civic organizations.

Civic innovation at it’s best only happens as a result of civic partnerships between technologists and civic organizations.  These brainstorming sessions are a way to bring everyone to the table to talk about real world problems.

If you’re a government agency or a non-profit with data that you’d like to bring to the potluck, feel free to fill out the form below and we’ll connect you with the organizers.