Code for South Africa
Nation-wide Data Quest

24th October 2015

The open data movement in South Africa is on a roll and on Saturday the 24th October Code for South Africa hosted nation-wide Data Quest events in Durban, Pretoria and Cape Town.

The triple events were aimed at liberating SA's data, and participants collaborated together to make history by showcasing the creative potential of what can be done with national open datasets made available on the National Open Data Portal.

“It was a fantastic opportunity to get down and dirty with what it takes to liberate data, which is more than just crunching numbers and making them look pretty. At its core it is really about story-telling and presenting information in a compelling way. Really eye-opening.”

Dataquest Participant

At the events an eclectic mix of journalists, designers, developers, analysts and civic enthusiasts engaged in the world of data, working intensely in teams to produce stories with social relevance using one or more of the datasets available.

“Great event, good crowd and energy.”

Dataquest Participant

A set of 11 datasets were selected from the portal, covering focus areas such as employment, economic growth, renewable energy, tourism, housing & infrastructure, transportation, public health, and tertiary education amongst others.

Datasets utilised for the event included labour force statistics, monthly economic indicators, renewable energy applications, tourism statistics, household access to services, crime statistics and more.

The events culminated with enthusiastic presentations that were judged based on whether the piece was relevant to the man on the street, as well as how well the data visualisation represented and supported the story. Each team presented stories including high-impact data visualisations which elicited thought provoking commentary and debate from other participating teams.

“I want to hold government accountable through transparent data. Also it is necessary to check that the data makes sense as it could easily be inaccurate or manipulated.”

Dataquest Participant

Code for South Africa runs a number of events and initiatives promoting open data for informed decision-making, and is inspired to help others play with data. Whether you are an NGO with a need for some data exploration, a journalist with a penchant for data, a data producer with a desire to open and share your data or you simply have a brilliant idea you'd like to see realised - we would love to hear from you! Get involved in Data Events with Code for South Africa.