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Hackathons And Similar Challenges Help To Further The Use Of Open Data
November 24, 2017 Blog


For 3 years running, The Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU) together with their partners, Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia (KPM), Kementerian Pendidikan Tinggi (KPT),  Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), Malaysian Communications And Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and GITN Sdn Bhd (GSB) have successfully conducted the 48 Hour Open Data Private Sector Hackathon in Cyberjaya in a bid to make open data a household term.

The last hackathon held in 2016 was themed “Unleashing The Power of Open Data for Innovation”. It was divided into 2 categories between adults and high school students and ran from the 25th till the 27th for adults, while school level students competed in the shorter 30 hour duration hackathon.

MAMPU are the hosts for the governments open data platform and are working towards making as many government data sets available to the public as they can. The next stage in their promotion plans are to make sure that citizens and businesses understand and use this data to gain insights. MAMPU believes that through hackathons and similar challenges such as the Big Open Wrangle currently being run, people will be encouraged to conceive, design and develop their own apps while at the same time demonstrating just how powerful open data can be.

YB Datuk Joseph Entulu, minister from the prime minister’s department said “MAMPU plans to improve the analytical abilities (of the users) through a systematic and structured  coaching approach in order to create data analysts by using the Public Sector Big Data platform available at MAMPU”. To date there are over 2000 open data sets available on the open data portal.

To add incentive, lucrative prizes are awarded to winners of the hackathons that range from between RM 10,000 and RM1,000. As such, these hackathons have been gaining positive feedback and attention over the years from all walks of life. Participants include students from both primary and secondary schools, universities and working adults from many government agencies who team up in groups of 5 to compete.

With the Digital Revolution moving at such a rapid pace, Malaysia needs to take steps to be on par globally with the changes. The open data is currently being populated by Jabatan Perangkaan Malaysia and Malaysian Centre for Geospatial Data Infrastructure (MaCGDI) as well as Kementerian Sumber Asli to make this initiative a reality.

You can be part of this initiative too. MAMPU, together with Big Community, are running the Big Open Wrangle challenge and giving you the chance to improve on the open data, making them more usable and insightful.

Be part of this amazing journey by signing up with the Big Open Wrangle here.

by Anil Benedict

AOPG Senior Journalist