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Evolution of Delaware Data Innovation Lab




Data for good is evolving.

The Delaware Data Innovation Lab (DDIL) was launched in the fall of 2020 after Wilmington’s data science company Compass Red received a $ 2 million New Castle County CARES Act grant. Goal: Place the analysis used to track the impact of COVID-19. However, from the beginning, the team wanted to evolve into a stand-alone, self-sustaining initiative supported by member organizations that benefit from data and insight.

It took less than a year to reach that point. During the summer, former Compass Red lead data scientist Ryan Harrington moved to DDIL full-time as Strategy and Operations Associate Director, and one of DDIL’s first fellows, Hctor Maldonado-Reis, researched and developed. , Was hired as an Associate Director of Analysis.

Compass Red and DDIL remain geographically close, both using the space of the CSC station, but as planned, they are completely separate entities.

“We use Compass Red as a vendor when we need to reinforce things, but it’s a completely independent non-profit organization,” Harrington said.

Like the FAFSA data dashboard with partner Teen SHARP, some of the six projects DDIL announced in December have been completed. Some are underway and new projects and partners are being sought.

“The Community Well-Being Index has been going on and evolving, and we plan to launch an Alpha program with other community partners,” says Harrington. “We are trying to get the job of housing anxiety back again. We spent a lot of time on the work led by Hctor and appreciated the emergency rental assistance.”

Delaware Data Innovation Lab and Teen SHARP FAFSA Data Dashboard. (screenshot)

A recent project launched by DDIL is with Delaware.

“One of our projects leverages Delaware’s Health and Information Network, leveraging data that has never been used to gather all sorts of information to learn about the community.” Maldonado-Reis said. “We’ve added a special component to add the census label instead of the zip code. It’s smaller to capture the neighborhood. Not only does it consolidate health information data, but now they. It creates an opportunity to learn about people being treated in the space and really learn about their well-being and other things that lack medical care. “

The three pillars of the project are education, housing and health.

Due to the nature of the data, Delaware’s health and information network data will never be fully published, Harrington said. However, for most DDIL projects, data sharing is planned as the DDIL website evolves.

“We aim to emphasize the case study more,” he said. “One of our main spirits in actually sharing data is openness, so all work is open and all data that supports the work is open to a certain extent. We aim to build a repository. We say it’s a prejudice against transparency. “

Community members can also learn more about using data through DDIL’s meetup, The Data Lab. The event is currently hybrid and has limited direct participation in CSC stations that are livestreamed to virtual participants. The next event, the outlook for the commercialization of machine learning at Adobe, will take place on September 23rd.

DDIL’s fellowship program, currently run by Maldonado-Reis, is still under development, but the organization continues to offer emerging data scientists the opportunity.

“The way we position it now is that it’s a year-long fellowship position, and often people have a PhD. I’m thinking of applying for a program or PhD. You can write programs and focus on these types of projects, “says Harrington.

“Fellowships are more than just the employment opportunities they create, they are also opportunities to develop Delaware’s expertise,” added Maldonado Wraith. “Part of that is training data scientists, but sometimes we train data scientists in our space, which is a nuance of its own.”

If you would like to know more about data project fellowships or partnerships, you can contact Harriston and Maldonado-Reis from the DDIL website.





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