Correlaid^2 (Meetup Mannheim)

December 2, 2018
correlaid data4good meetup

Two years ago, I heard about Correlaid, a network of people interested in doing not-for-profit data science. The group is mostly organized online, but once a year everyone comes together for a weekend somewhere in Germany.

Again - as in 2016 - I had a really good time. The weekend was very well organized and started casually with a short recap of what’s currently going on. I think setting up a few local groups is a good idea, because it’s just more fun and productive to do data-projects in a team (and to sit in front of the screen together from time to time).

Overall the crowd was similar to two years ago. Some of us are a little older and more experienced by now, but there were also people who just started being interested in the field. Many attendees I spoke to started their studies being interested in social science and gradually drifted towards methods and more technical areas - but without loosing the interest in the “bigger questions” entirely.

Saturday was reserved for the Open Space. I attended the short introduction to JavaScript, with a nice demo of the flexibility of this versatile tool.

I learned about the various components of a chatbot-system and the careful dataprepartion- and dialogue-coneptualization-steps required (RASA-Framework). We also discussed some methods for machine learning interpretability. I knew about shap and lime and the idea of local explanations, but the DeepTaylor-Decomposition approach was new to me and seems really cool.

In the evening I heard more about the Correlaids challenges and lessons learned in the past two years. I had planned to share a little more about my professional experience with data-projects, but time was short and I’ll have to save this for another time. (In case you’re just starting your data-journey and would like some thoughts on where to start and what skills are most important - please reach out!)

So: Thank you for the open and super-friendly atmosphere and your efforts to leverage the potential of data and technology for society. Say hi, when you come to hambuRg and see you around!

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