Deloitte’s Datathon is a fringe event at DataFest18, the festival of data innovation, the theme of the event was Financial Services for Good. Participating data-scientists and tech entrepreneurs were challenged to establish a useful link between how financial data can be used to help individuals address some of the biggest issues facing society today. The winning team Data Nations, comprised of top-notch data experts, scooped the top spot for their FinTastic concept, a digital tool to help people make better financial decisions.
Data Nation’s app was based around the concept of tackling statistics that revealed 23 million people feel they have not had financial advice when they needed it most. Furthermore, over a quarter of people find making financial decisions difficult and confusing. The app they formulated would help people make more sound financial decisions at key stages in their life, such as when they move to a new house or get married. Based on their user data, a chatbot would offer advice and generate tailor-made financial plans, average spending, comparisons for products and personal spending and provide terminology for financial education.
Alex Cunningham of Data Nations, said: “Financial hardship is an issue that can have long-lasting negative effects on people everywhere, particularly if they do not receive any meaningful guidance or advice. With FinTastic, our objective was to create a preventative product, something that stopped people from starting down a path that would eventually lead to a negative financial scenario. Our ethos wasn’t to fix, but rather to prevent.”
“Deloitte did a fantastic job of facilitating the Datathon and we would highly recommend taking part in future to anyone with an interest or expertise in data analysis. We are looking forward to our mentoring session with Phil Grady from Castlight and have a lot of questions we’d like to ask his advice on.”
Alongside the overall winners, two further awards were handed out, Top10 won Most Innovative for their identification of the correlation between employment and income versus depression, thus establishing a link between financial well-being and mental health.
Uplifting Investments won Best Use of Data for their idea to hardness peer to peer lending for social good. Their mined data revealed that there was a demand for peer to peer investment. They designed a form to enable community groups and entrepreneurs to request funding, which would target local investors and allow them to support local charities, projects and jobs. The team also suggested an app that could be used to tackle financial distress and other problems in society.
Kent Mackenzie, judge and director at Deloitte in Edinburgh, said: “The strength of the concepts from all teams involved were impressive and highlighted what can be achieved when data scientists, industry experts and academics come together to utilise information for the common good. The judges were presented with a number of fascinating ideas with potential, but Data Nations insight into the need for financial education and support and their concept of a tool which offers this to the whole of society made them the clear overall winner.”
The Data Lab CEO, Gillian Docherty, said: “The Datathon was one of over 40 fringe events within DataFest 18. The success and engagement of these events around the country this week, along with the Data Talent and Data Summit programmes, is truly exciting and shows the growing demand to understand the benefits of data-driven problem solving. There is no doubt that Scotland is marking its place as a burgeoning centre for data on a global scale.”