Grayce hosts datathon supporting Coffee4Craig

Grayce Data+ Analysts, Matthew Stanley and Alexis Baka share their experience on our Data+ Development Programme and at our inaugural Datathon. 

2021 saw Grayce host its first ever Datathon! Our Data+ Analysts got together for the day to help one of our nominated charities, Coffee4Craig. Grayce regularly support with fundraising and volunteer projects for the charity. 

Coffee4Craig is a Manchester-based homelessness provision that is open every evening. They provide home-cooked meals, access to medics, showers, barbering services, and a team of friendly, compassionate faces to support their guests. 

In October 2021, Grayce’s Data+ Analysts spent the day putting their analytical skills to the test, studying social media metrics. The aim was to create actionable insights to help Coffe4Craig increase their brand awareness and engagement on social media. Our Data+ Analysts created teams and competed with each other to find the best solutions that could be used by the charity to make a meaningful difference. Here, Grayce Data+ Analysts, Matthew Stanley and Alexis Baka share their experience of Grayce’s 2021 Datathon.  

What made you interested in working in data? 

Alexis: “Growing up, I gained an interest in all things data through my father’s career in banking. I always believed data was the most important part of everyday life. I studied for a MSc in Information Science Data Analytics in which I gained the necessary skills to enter the data world.” 

Matthew: “I studied at The University of Liverpool for a BSc in Physiology before moving onto an MSc in Exercise Physiology. During my studies, I developed an interest in data management and engineering following a laboratory project. This led me to learn extra skills, like SQL, to help me with future endeavours.” 

Why did you choose Grayce and Data+? 

Matthew: “The Grayce Data+ Development Programme provides a fresh outlook on the way that industries utilise and extract data. It’s provided me with a motivation to learn new and exciting skills in the data analysis world.” 

Alexis: “As my university studies came to an end, I began to search for graduate roles. I soon found that many asked for a level of experience which I didn’t have. I then came across the Grayce Development Programmes and Data+ immediately appealed to me. Finding a role that doesn’t require much experience and develops your knowledge and skills is exactly what any graduate would be looking for!” 

Tell us about the Grayce Datathon. 

Alexis: “During the event, we were asked to help Coffee4Craig understand how they can make the most of their data in order to support the vital work they do for Manchester’s homeless community. My team work on social media data. We used a social media data scrapper to pull this data together from Instagram and Twitter. This was new to most of us and was interesting to learn a new skill collaboratively.  

As a team, we then visualised the data using Tableau, a tool many of the team hadn’t had exposure to before. Graphs and charts were created to provide insights into the best times of the day and year to post, along with favourable keywords to include in captions and copy.” 

Matthew: “As a cohort, we were able to provide a variety of strategies for Coffee4Craig. Some groups focused on increasing social media presence to gain further donations. Others provided a breadth of social content and supporting information to be placed onto electronic billboards.” 

What were your takeaways from the event? 

Matthew: “The Datathon highlighted the importance of collaboration and utilising data correctly. It demonstrated how data can provide the basis for long-term improvements in charitable fundraising.” 

Alexis: “It felt great being able to provide insights to support an amazing cause, benefitting those in the homeless community. Apart from helping one of Grayce’s chosen charities, I loved getting to work with fellow Data+ Analysts!” 

Risha Lancaster, Co-Founder & General Manager at Coffee4Craig says: “I would like to thank you all so much for all the amazing support that Grayce have given us. We really do appreciate everything you have done. It’s amazing working with the Grayce Team; you have made a huge difference to our internal ways of working!” 

Matthew and Alexis, and all the Analysts that took part, felt that the Datathon event as a unique way to bring together Grayce’s Data+ community. Through the Datathon, they were able to grow their network, develop their skills and knowledge, and apply it to real-world scenarios to make a meaningful impact for a fantastic charity.

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