/ data

Glory Mabunda on Using Data to Tell the Geekulcha Story

Hi all, my name is Glory Mabunda I am a Junior Applications Developer and a final year student at the Tshwane University of Technology focusing on data-centered applications, that help paint a clearer picture of what Geekulcha's mission is. I also enjoy analysing scenarios and creating digital solutions that require me to work outside my comfort and knowledge set, as I continue to sculpture my development techniques in order to become a proficient software developer.

Initially, I thought Geekulcha was just another company that was only focused on creating client-centered solutions, but it goes beyond that - Geekulcha is a platform where young, creative, and innovative minds get to share information and knowledge. Geekulcha is also responsible for bridging the gap that exists between young innovators, who want to create digital solutions that are relevant in the tech industry and professionals who currently working in the industry.
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Most people know the name Geekulcha and people involved but not what it does and its programmes. There are several programmes that Geekulcha runs throughout the year and hackathons form a huge part of what Geekulcha does.

Hackathons, can be defined as “invention marathons”. Where anyone who has an interest in technology attends a hackathon to learn, build & share their creations over the duration of the hackathon. Oh and just so you know, you don’t have to be a programmer and you certainly don’t have to done a Masters Degree in Electronics to attend a hackathon. Hackathons are also a fun way of creating digital solutions that make business sense in the industry, these Hackathons also attract professional industry leaders.

Here are 3 facts about Geekulcha:

  • Geekulcha was awarded an ICT Achievers Award in 2016 for their role in local industrialisation of the ICT ecosystem.
  • Ms Africa finalist Rahab Matebane, once partnered with Geekulcha, to give school children better access and opportunity to see what careers exist in the field
  • Geekulcha has a radio show on Brandlive.co.za (internet radio) called #GeeksConnect, which airs on Thursdays at 10:00 - 11:00(CAT)

Big data is the term that describes huge amounts of structured, semistructured and unstructured data that has the potential to be used for information that is of significant value.

I think that Data is important for developers, because so many times I think developers like myself get an idea of building a digital solution that seems or feels to be ground-breaking or digitally revolutionary, however we don’t analyse exactly what we’re aiming at solving in order for our solutions to be relevant, usable or economically viable.

Without data it would be impossible to detect or know what kind of problems need to be solved, because let's face it we can create the best digital solution however it could be solving well nothing.

“Enterprise Data Strategy is the comprehensive vision and actionable foundation for an organization’s ability to harness data-related or data-dependent capability.” Companies should have a data strategy in place because, without a vision and foundation, different parts of the enterprise will view data-related capabilities differently.

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This inevitably leads to duplication of both data and data systems across the organization and thus makes it quite difficult to determine the ‘truth’ of one’s data and will also drive up costs. Having a Data Strategy in place also provides the formula for all enterprise planning efforts connected to data-related capability.

One of the things I’ve done at Geekulcha was helping build the Geekulcha profile and it was it interesting feat for me to venture into, because I got to see how data is able to come “alive” from a long list of “dead” tables or datasets that would be boring to just display in raw format.

I started off on researching on what kind of platforms I could use to visualise the data I was working with, and the platform I ended up working with mainly is “Highcharts”. Highcharts is a charting library that is written in pure JavaScript, offering an easy way of adding interactive charts to your web site or web application.

Most of these data visualisation platforms do require that you have knowledge in programming.

Here are 5 other data visualization libraries/tools that are really useful in telling a story through data:

Working on the Geekulcha Profile (to be made public soon) has taught me that there are lot of open source libraries that can be used to create diverse digital solutions that could be the next big thing in world wide web used. I aspire to be a senior software developer that has the ability to build software solutions efficiently, and quickly in a challenging environment and gain experience in working as part of a team to research and develop new software products.

Data science is analysis of huge volumes of data to create knowledge and useful data sets that could help people start asking the right question in order to solve problems. I believe that in South Africa Data Science could help solve one of our one of biggest problems which is unemployment by providing data that could help solve problems that exist in our nation.