Anidata Hackathon 1.0

Mar 15, 2016

On March 5th, Anidata held its first hackathon, which focused on combating the scourge of human trafficking. Twenty five data hackers, subject matter experts, investigators, and prosecutors gathered for 12 hours on a Saturday to attack the problem. Non-hackers from law enforcement and the Fulton County District Attorney’s (FCDA’s) office were collectively “mentors”, who helped guide the direction of the hackathon projects.

The result was a highly iterative hacking environment where product users and hackers could closely collaborate to dial in and prototype projects that would most meet the needs of users. It was an awesome vibe that replicated the tight cycles that early stage startups go through as they try to find product-market fit.

Google was nice enough to donate a large number of Google Cloud Platform credits, which allowed each to leverage the power Google’s cloud to prototype and deploy project ideas.

At the end of the day, each project team gave a 7 minute pitch to a panel of experts including the FCDA, Mr. Paul Howard. We saw some phenomenally cool data munging, parsing, and visualization demonstrations. Interestingly, all four project teams converged on similar product ideas that had to do with resolving human traffickers at individual entities even though they might use various email, phone numbers, and names across the internet.

It is fair to say that the event was a huge success where we met both our goals:

  • Bringing together data hackers with subject matter experts to solve a problem for the greater good
  • Providing budding data hackers with exposure to modern tools and to the product development life cycle

Stay tuned for information on Anidata 1.1 where we will coalesce the four projects from this hackathon into a minimum viable product that the FCDA’s office can use in its fight against human trafficking.