Adelaide Unleashed on GovHack 2015

Hack what ?

GovHack is an international competition that brings over 1800 people together to innovate, collaborate and apply their creative skills to open government data.

What does this actually mean?

… it means you pull data from government sources and any other sources you can find, mash that data together and present as compelling an application as you can within 46 hours. It also means you are in the running for prizes and the government enjoys low cost access to innovative applications to it’s data. It also means having some fun.

UnleashedAdelaide1

The Adelaide node of GovHack is called Adelaide Unleashed

In the weeks leading up to GovHack several consultants from Chamonix IT Consulting formed a team that was, not unexpectedly, later registered as ‘Chamonix’. This was an opportunity for us to gain a new experience, get some team bonding happening, to give back to the community and to demonstrate our capabilities.

The team members were as follows, from left to right:

GovHack Team Photo

  • Darren Donhardt (data analyst)
  • Ashley Smith (data explorer & wrangler)
  • Simon Biber (web app back end services)
  • Ashleigh Green (team super lead and all round good guy plus
    hackerspace docs)
  • Dennis Martin (video guru)
  • Russell Lescai (web app ninja)
  • Etienne Oostuhysen (data analyst, not present in photo)

Our journey started with some competition preparation (research and brainstorming). We felt that to be successful we needed to do our homework. We had to understand what the competition was about, what were the constraints, and what were some opportunities. This was really important given that the competition was time constrained to 46 hours.

At the start of the competition we quickly defined our project which we named “HealthBuddy“. The objectives of the project were to provide a single easy point of access for health consumers through a mobile experience as well as provide insights for policy and decision makers. Picture of the app and video are below.

HealthBuddy App 1

Having the project defined, enabled us to focus on exploring and wrangling the available data and building the required data driven mobile friendly web application.

We used multiple data sets focused around health. Some of these data sets included Hospital Statistics, Emergency Department Presentations & Admissions, Google Maps api, User Location, Adelaide Metro Transit Feed and Twitter sentiment analysis.

The technologies employed incorporated web application (html 5, javascript, AngularJS, etc), Web API, Power BI, Microsoft Azure (event hubs & stream analytics), SQL Server (Integration Services & DB) and of course Office 365 (OneNote). Essentially we stuck with technologies we knew. Time was against us and now was not the time to experiment on something new.

By 5:00 PM on the Sunday (and after 46 hours), we succeeded in delivering on-time a web application hosted in Microsoft Azure cloud services, a presentation video, code deployed in Github and the project documented in Hackerspace,

All the effort put in by the team over those 46 hours led to us the following outcomes:

  • Winner: Best South Australian concept that innovates to a national market
  • Honourable Mention: Best Industry, Science or Research data mashup
  • Honourable Mention: Health Living and wellbeing through social inclusion

Unleashed Certificates

Overall, the experience was excellent! It was a great time to catch up with friends and colleagues, but it was a shame, given the time constraints, that there wasn’t more time to connect with fellow competitors.

Hope to see you there next year !  🙂


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