By Josh Obuya
Today, data generation happens by the minute, in sizable scales. Data is also appreciated as a holder of insightful information that can spur innovation or discoveries. The Summer Data Jam is an initiative byiHub researchbrought to nurture students to think critically and develop research projects in their area of interest.
The first ever Summer Data Jam training started on 10thJuly, 2013 and ended on 14thAugust 15, 2013. The course brought together students from various backgrounds and taught them the basics of research and data visualization for five weeks. The students diligently worked on projects during the training and finally presented them to an audience that included key professionals in data and other IT fields. The chief guests were Mark Rotter, Operations Director - Microsoft 4Afrika and Dr. Sandra Johnson, IBM technical lead - Central, East and West Africa
Albert Miruka and Victor Kioko studied “Purchase and Consumption of Headache Painkillers by Nairobi Residents”. This was driven by frequent headaches people experience and were interested in learning the patterns, trends and perception on purchase and use of headache painkillers.
Varyanne Sika and Beatrice Chepkurui examined the dynamics of skilled self-employed youth in Nairobi. This was sought after observing a growth in self-employment sector over the past decade. It therefore seemed to serve as a solution to unemployment. From their respondents, the Eastern part of Nairobi had the highest concentration of self-employed businesses standing at 30%, which are mainly retail shops.
Christine Muthoni and Justus Kyalo studied Nairobi culture and its relationship to waste and waste management. They were interested in analyzing people’s knowledge, perception and relationship with waste and waste management. The general culture that dominated their findings is that people shift blames on waste management. 51% of their respondents, all of whom are middle and upper class residents, blamed waste management bodies for the waste.
Presentations were graded by a team of judges that comprised of Ashish Gupta, Lead - Microsoft Middle East & Africa, iHub Research’s Anne Salim and Natalie Becerra, Lead tutor - Summer Jam training. The students were then awarded with certificates with the best team (Varyanne Sika and Beatrice Chepkurui) receiving an excellence award. Hearty congratulations to all the students for successfully graduating from the program.
The Summer Data Jam is part of the new Data Science and Visualization lab and will be running annually between July and August.