March 7, 2016 Hatem Ben Yacoub

First Open Data Day in Jeddah – Saudi Arabia #ODD16

Jeddah, 5 March 2016 – The first Hackathon Open Data Day in Jeddah took place in the second largest city in Saudi Arabia organized by Techniya and Badir Program. A gathering of about fifty data lovers and enthusiasts interested in the topic of open data, which started with two sessions. The first one was an introduction : Why open data, what’s open data, and what we can do with open data. You can find below my presentation :



The second session was given by Ahmed Bukhamseen, Co-Founder & CEO of Quant_DA, on data science and visualization, with practical examples using the Tableau software.

Participants then started exploring possibilities of using data in different applications, and we saw many amazing ideas started flowing. One of the participants took a ride around the event’s location and collected data of wifi networks, then tried to figure out what kind of information he can grab from these data :

Others used fire incidents around the kingdom, and tried to get some interesting insight from them :

Mohammed Ashmawi analyzed universities data in the US, and this is probably one of the interesting cases because he focused on the idea even if the data are not available which is a very interesting case in my opinion.

There are many other examples, using investment data in the kingdom, others analyzed flight frequency over the year and tried to mix it with other data… The possibilities are unlimited, but we were very limited in time. And for a first initiative related to open data in the city, I think it was more than successful !

After the event there was more discussions on twitter about the topic and the municipality of Jeddah shared its open data library for citizens, visitors and investors.

Finally, a slide from my presentation that I considered very important and related to data-driven innovation :

That was probably one of the point that made most participants miss the point and focus on data, instead of innovation.  But no worries, for a first event it was amazing after all ! Work will continue and I am sure that there are huge opportunities out there for entrepreneurs, government, and data lovers, not only to make good use of data, but also to help fixing every day’s problems and make the world better !

Thank you !

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About the Author

Hatem Ben Yacoub Energy Engineer, Entrepreneur, ICT & eGov Consultant with over 15 years experience. Independent Open Data expert.

(HBY) Consultancy