hack day

This past weekend, our fourth Hack Day brought together some very enthusiastic people along with the DNAdigest team in the Future Business Centre in Cambridge to discuss the development of the Data Discovery Tool we are working on. We are very excited to say that the day turned out to be very productive.

Hack Day August 2014 Summary

Fiona Nielsen, our CEO, started with a short presentation explaining who we are and what we have done so far.

IMG_20140802_102643 split into groups

Through the course of the day our attendees divided into three groups each discussing different topics while our team integrated a member into each group so that we could follow up with everyone. Interesting discussions on what exactly can be done to improve the existing prototype on data discovery spread around fast and people were really keen on brainstorming new ideas.

Hamza, our Nuffield research student, was going around interviewing. He managed to learn about the workflows and the various online repositories used to access genetic data of three Hack Day participants who use human genomic data in their work.

text mining group

The text mining group explored the options for automatically analysing data set descriptions and labelling them with appropriate ontology tags. One very active contributor was Peter Murray-Rust who pointed out a number of similar projects related to Open Knowledge Foundation (OKFN) that might be relative to collaborate with.

structuring back-end

The Back-End team aimed to import some sample data provided by the EGA data repository to the backend of our web application. An experienced volunteer worked with one of our team members here at DNADigest to carry out this task. At the end of the day, we successfully managed to import the sample data to the backend. At this point, we realised that the changes we made at the backend had affected the display on the front end so another team member interested in the UI/UX aspect of web development changed a few things at the frontend and now we have a working front end that displays our sample data.


The third group was very interesting, combining people with diverse backgrounds. They brainstormed many ideas regarding user experience, incentives for people to use the website and various ideas for functionality.

Take a look at the group Hackpad, where the groups were writing their findings throughout the day!

You can check the collection of the Hackpad for the Hack Day August 2nd and follow up on the very exciting day we experienced!

We have also made a storify summary collecting the tweets and photos covering the duration of the day.

It was great to see you all, and we look forward to welcoming you again for our next events!

DNAdigest team: Margi, Hamza, Francis, Sebastian, Adrian and Fiona