Insights for Good: The Women and Children’s Health Research Institute

Partnership| organization| ngo | | Eva Neuner

Efficient data science at scale is a topic that is not only of interest for big companies, but also (and particularly) for academics and non-profits due to their often limited time and financial resources.

umbrella.-2It was clear from the beginning here at Dataiku that students, researchers, non-profits, and NGOs represent a critical force in the world of machine learning and AI. And because of the amazing projects these organizations and individuals work on day in and day out, we’re proud to offer the enterprise version of Dataiku for free to non-profits and NGOs as well as academics.

Our new blogpost series Dataiku Insights for Good features selected partners in this space and gives insights into the work that they’re doing with data science.

Feature: The Women and Children’s Health Research Institute (WCHRI)

The Women and Children’s Health Research Institute is a partnership between the University of Alberta and Alberta Health Services, with core funding from the Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation and supporters of the Lois Hole Hospital for Women. The institute supports research dedicated to improving the health and lives of women and children.

WCHRI set up a research platform that is maintained by a team in order to facilitate, support, and enable this research.


So far in less than a year, the data scientists at WCHRI have:

  • Created a custom plugin to import data from REDCap (a web-based application) and their main source of data collection for a more complete dataset from which to draw insights.
  • Completely replaced time-consuming Excel tasks (such as manually repeating work for internal reporting) with a Dataiku project to save time and free up resources for more impactful projects.
  • Been able to support researchers more meaningfully in their machine learning work thanks to Dataiku’s codeless visual interface that allows non-technical team members to develop dashboards, reports, and do data transformation.

“We have been really impressed at DSS capacity for data cleaning and exploratory data analysis.”

 Graham Erickson, Data Scientist at WCHRI


A Focus on Automation

As research monitoring and reporting play an integral and time-consuming part of team members’ work in general, the data team set up several data projects automating large swaths of these tasks so that researchers can focus on the most impactful work rather than repeated tasks.

These features have not only been put into good use when, for example, automating the scoring computation of a judged live competition with 520 attendees, but also when monitoring social media activity. The team at WCHRI has now employed automation to send out email alerts when certain criteria within a project are met as well as to facilitate the manual information transformation of grant competitions.

Join the Fun

The data scientists at WCHRI are clearly driven by the idea of making the most out of their data, and Dataiku is happy to support them along the way. Are you also interested in joining the program? Feel free to get in touch with us.

Or to learn more about what data science platforms are and what they can do, check out our white paper on Why Teams Need Data Science Tools.


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