Editor’s note: As CityCamp unfolds this weekend, blogger Ginny Ghezzo reflects on the kickoff event for a related event – the 2015 NC Datapalooza.(For more on CityCamp, check the links included with this post.)

RALEIGH, N.C. – [A few weeks back], I attended the kickoff event for the 2015 NC Datapalooza. This was an all-day event focused on forming ideas and gathering data. Just like a bunch of musicians gathered in one place, this was a jam, a data jam that ended in presentations and winners. The key criteria was use of open data, potential impact, formation of a business plan and indication on how they would progress.

I was especially enamored by the panel which consisted of data experts in government and health. I should write another blog on their insights such as:

  • The road to bureaucracy is paved with good intentions.
  • Mosaic Effect is a real but proven concern.
  • The US Government Open Data Project was done out on github
  • Open data adds checks and balanced
  • With transparency comes competition.
  • These four are worth watching: Maryann Baldwin (@maryannbaldwin) , Reid Serozi (@reidserozi), Steven Warwick (@hdecisions) and Leah Bannon (@leahbannon)

Before the panel was the competition: 5 to 8 minute presentation & feedback sessions. Overall I was impressed with the diversity of the event, the passion of the participants and the general organization. Here are some specific impressions:

Team 1 : Affordable Housing Connector (Code for Durham)

This team did a great job of clearly presenting the problem and then validated that they knew the stakeholders by bringing up Nigel Brown of Housing for New Hope.

How do you leverage open data and software to build trust between the landlords, clients and others in the community? How do you identify housing that fits needs such as schools, safety, and then work through the bureaucracy?

I’ve always been impressed by Housing for New Hope: http://www.housingfornewhope.org/

Team 2 : OpenFit : Open Food Illness Tracker

This team wants to increase awareness of food borne illnesses by combining inspections and self reporting.

Team 3 :FreeWheelingNC!

This team wants to provide a personal recommendation on the safest way for you to bike. Again, they did a great job of building the presentation:

Why: NC is one of the deadliest states for bikes and bikes make money for municipalities such as the outerbanks.

How: Highlighted data such as pothole, accidents, construction, personal decisions

Who: It was clear they are the stakeholder that need to be satisfied.

Sprinkes: First make it safe, and then make it fun!

I am sold! Any app that tells me the best course for a shady, low traffic route to Toast and throws in a coupon to Cupcake Bar is a winner in my book!

Team 4 : YoFlow

This team looked at ways to help reduce water use by aggregating Cary City Usage reports.

Team 5: Service U

This team is looking to use open data to help constituents find out where meals are available. They touched on the continuing struggle to connect resources to need. It was refreshing to see the poor as the clients and demonstrated a genuine respect. That is innovation in our world of government and agencies.

Team 6 : OpenKpi

This team wants to help clean up your data and present it in a usable way. The idea is to not only clean data but leverage what other cities have done to predict things like fire, health outcome, etc. The will be subject matter experts on the data and practices in public safety, public health and education.

What’s next? There is 90 days of work, mentoring, skills assessment and preparation for round 2 on August 8th. I sure hope Allyson Sutton (asutton at hqraleigh.com) and Zach Ambrose ( zambrose at ambrosestrategy.com) invite me back!

For the official word on North Carolina Datapalooza see: http://www.ncdatapalooza.com/

Note: This blog was originally published at: http://gghezzo.blogspot.com/2015/05/north-carolina-datapalooza-unofficial.html