Report: [DM1] Data MeetUp at Islington College

Meetup | SEPTEMBER 12 2013

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Probably Nepal’s first ever Data Meetup was successfully conducted on September 09, 2013 at Islington College, Kamalpokhari, Kathmandu with around 30 participants.

So, what is a Data Meetup?

Data Meetup is simply a gathering of data enthusiasts, who are interested in data science, data journalism, data wrangling, data analysis, data visualization and other data works. Here, participants are supposed to talk about finding data, extracting data, processing it and make a story from it. So, it’s about the sharing and learning the experience and techniques.

What do we do here?

  •   We gather once in a month.
  •   We will have predefined set of agenda for program.
  •   Anyone interested to share can appoint them as resource person.
  •   Anyone can join without restriction.
  •   At the last, we will call from participants for next session.

The meetup as planned on last Open knowledge Foundation Nepal’s meetup, was carried out to:

  1. Provide seed knowledge to people interested in Data
  2. Give them a basic knowledge about non tedious ways of extracting data from various sources
  3. Give them a practical idea about sorting and filtering of data
  4. Show the participants a picture of how Open Data can affect the face of journalism in Nepal

Aforementioned objectives were fulfilled by the following sessions:

This session started with introduction about data, following with interesting visualizations, and later including the world’s current status about big Data in brief and concluding with many tools and resources to learning about Data including School of Data.

  • Open Data, Open Spending and Data Scraping, by Manish Dangol

This session introduced Open Data to the audience, and discussed the challenges face while mining data from websites. The session also included a hands-on demo of Tabula, the free and open source software used to convert tables in pdf files into machine readable formats.

Data Wrangling from Manish Dangol
    • Spreadsheet Work: Sorting, Filtering and Visualizing, by Prakash Neupane

This session demonstrated how using simple spreadsheet tools like Sorting and Filtering can be used effectively to search for stories inside data using common spreadsheet applications like Microsoft Office Excel, Open(Libre)Office, or Google Spreadsheet.

 

  • Making Story from Data, by Kuber Chalise

Economic Journalist Kuber Chalise, formerly associated with The Himalayan Times, tells us how data affects journalism and goes on to emphasize the potential of data visualization in journalism to use less words, and still make more sense. He tells about the sites he uses to find data: Central Bureau of Statistics  and Nepal Rastra Bank.

All sessions were enjoyed by the audience and invited queries. The program ended on a note to do similar sessions every month, targeting different venue and and more audience every time.

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