Friday lunchtime lecture: Data – our latest weapon in the fight against hunger

Friday 08 July 2016, 1:00pm - 1:00pm

Open Data Institute, 65 Clifton Street, London EC2A 4JE

Friday lunchtime lectures are for everyone and are free to attend. You bring your lunch, we provide tea and coffee, an interesting talk, and enough time to get back to your desk.


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Food banks have become a part of the social and political landscape in the past few years, with the Trussell Trust Foodbank Network’s latest statistics showing usage at an all-time high. Can open data help us to understand the scale of the problem, and point the way to solutions or better targeting of resources?

Simon Raper and Andy Hamflett will show how they aligned Trussell Trust client and food bank location data with a range of open datasets to create the UK’s first dynamic visualisation tool for food poverty. As well as mapping geographical demand, the prototype platform also aligns findings to 2011 Census data to predict where additional foodbanks may be needed. The project – delivered alongside academics from Hull University Business School – presented the Trussell Trust with many new insights, and points to much greater strategic potential for a wider community of charities working to counter UK poverty.

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null Screenshot of the Trussell Trust platform


About the speakers

Simon Raper from Coppelia is an RSS accredited statistician with over 15 years’ experience working in data mining and analytics and many more in coding and software development. His specialities include machine learning, time series forecasting, advanced statistical modelling, market simulation and data visualisation. In 2014 he founded Coppelia Machine Learning and Analytics whose clients include J Sainsbury, Omnicom Media Group, FindMyPast and Blue 449 (formerly Walker Media), MSL Group, BARB and The Trussell Trust. His blog on statistics, cloud computing and data visualisation has attracted over 450K views and his posts have featured in the on-line editions of The New York Times and The New Yorker.

Andy Hamflett from AAM Associates focuses on the uses of data and digital tools to drive positive social impact. Particular interests are mobile-for-good initiatives, innovation in the Blue Economy, data for social impact and the potential of new socially-responsible business models in the digital economy. Andy has held various leadership roles in the voluntary, private and public sectors – from Chief Executive of a national youth charity to Head of Democratic Services in an inner London borough – and continues to work and advise across many sectors, from education to health to the arts.