August 14, 2021

More than 20 volunteer data scientists and analysts help affordable housing provider in their mission to offer homes and services to seniors, families, and people with disabilities.

Vancouver, BC—Data for Good Vancouver has partnered with Brightside Community Homes Foundation to host its fourth major datathon. More than 22 data scientists and analysts gathered virtually and in-person to analyze the non-profit housing provider’s data with the goals of improving service delivery for Brightside’s resident community and better focusing support through partnerships.

“Brightside has conducted an annual Community Enhancement Survey since 2017 in an effort to elicit feedback and to better understand the needs and demographics of our resident population—primarily seniors, families, and people with disabilities. As a provider of affordable rental homes for those that are able to live independently, Brightside places a high value on building resilient communities, and our survey data plays a role in shaping those communities,” said William Azaroff, Brightside’s Chief Executive Officer.

“We are enthusiastic that the collective analytical strength of the Data for Good datathon will enable us to continually improve service to our residents. Further, we will be better equipped to anticipate where to invest capacity in partnerships key to ensuring residents receive supports that exceed the mandate of an independent-living housing provider.”

The seven-hour event took place from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 14. “Our Data for Good Vancouver team is looking forward to the Brightside Datathon, as it is the culmination of over five months of a partnership between the ‘Brightsiders’ and our first set of volunteers who focused on data preparation in order to have a clear, pristine, and accurate dataset and documentation,” said Gordon Hamilton, Team Lead with Data for Good. “The meticulous preparation in the data cleaning phase is essential for maximizing the experience of volunteers and enhancing the findings and insights they will be able to surface.”

The data consisted of four years of anonymized resident survey results and geographically tied, transit, shopping, and amenity data. The analysis was open-ended and aimed at identifying patterns and themes that can help accurately tell the story of the people Brightside helps and capture their experience as residents. Volunteers used a variety of programming languages, including Python, R, Java, and SQL, and collaborated in a virtual environment using Deepnote. Sponsorship was kindly provided by Collibra.

Peter Kim
Team Lead
Data for Good Vancouver

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About Data for Good
Data For Good is a collective of data scientists, programmers, engineers, and data enthusiasts, aimed at using their skills and talents for good—to help make communities better through data and empower change makers to realize their goals for a better society. We do this by helping other not-for-profit and non-governmental organizations harness the latent potential within their data and unlock insights enabling them to make informed decisions in service of their respective mandates and missions.

About Brightside Community Homes Foundation
Brightside’s mission is to provide affordable homes for those struggling to meet the demands of market housing, and envisions a future where people of all income levels have a home within a vibrant and healthy community. Seniors, families and people with disabilities are some of the most significantly impacted by the housing affordability crisis facing our city. The ‘Brightside touch’ is exemplified by a singular focus on the welfare of all Brightside residents and ensuring an ability to go above and beyond to meet the needs of current and future residents in the long-term, in addition to providing affordable housing for those who need it most.