CSpring Wins 2020 Datapalooza!


CSpring Wins 2020 Datapalooza!

Whenever you start a new job, there is always a sense of having to prove yourself­­ to your supervisor, coworkers, or executive team. But for me, starting my first job after graduating college, I felt an even more important need to prove my abilities to myself.

Navigating the professional world has been… interesting to say the least. Whether it has been starting remotely for a new company or starting a career in a new field, I was thrown into an ambiguous world everywhere I turned. Fortunately, CSpring set me up for success and allowed me to get that signature “win” that I needed to prove to myself that I could compete in a professional world.

This past month, I represented CSpring in the Indiana HIMSS Healthy Mom and Baby Datapalooza competition. The competition’s focus was to use Indiana’s data to provide insights and solutions to the high infant mortality rates that the state has seen in the past ten years. The team consisted of another recent graduate, Kyle Krieger, and myself. With the plethora of public data available, the first step was to analyze the data to see exactly what story we wanted to tell. With a problem as sensitive as infant mortality, it was crucial to approach this competition empathically. In doing so, we were able to align data with a story and solution that truly addressed this issue.

As we looked through the data, we found that there was no single cause that lead to high infant mortality rates. Whether it was data on pregnant moms with diabetes, stress, smoking addictions, or obesity, it was apparent that there was no singular correlation between any one factor and infant mortality. However, there was a universal insight. Our biggest takeaway through analyzing the data was that mothers and expecting mothers face a wide range of difficulties that all could potentially contribute to infant mortality. Even worse, the limited access to healthcare facilities made dealing with these difficulties that much harder. Our final CSpring submission to Datapalooza was a service called the Midwives Program.

The Midwives Program was a service aimed to connect and empower Indiana mothers and expecting mothers to take matters into their own hands and seek proper health care. For mothers living in densely populated areas, there are plenty of healthcare facilities available, but there is no single source of information as to where these locations are or what services they offer. On the Midwives website, there is an interactive map built using Tableau and Indiana public data that breaks down relevant services for mothers and where they can geographically find these services. On the other hand, for mothers that live in smaller counties, particularly along Indiana’s western border, it is discouraging to see a lack of resources in general. As a way to combat the lack of resources, the Midwives Program also serves as an online community where mothers can interact with other mothers that have gone through a similar situation. Ultimately, these two programs combat the isolation that so many mothers fall victim to.

At the beginning of this data competition, I thought that this would be a good opportunity to gain experience and get my hands on real data with a real need for solutions. Admittedly, I did not know how our team would compete with others given that it was our first data competition and I just had the mentality to do our best. However, it turns out that our best was good enough to win the Datapalooza competition for CSpring. With each passing round in the competition, I could feel my own confidence and my ability to tell a story through the power of data strengthen.

With graduating and entering the work force in an ambiguous world, it felt as though I needed that signature win to find my own path in the professional world. I know a lot of young professionals feel the same these days. I have since learned that the world will always be ambiguous; problems will always exist, and people will always be needed to provide solutions. And I am fortunate to be on a team that sets me up to do just that. If you are interested in seeing our final submission you can watch our video here and be sure to check out what CSpring can do for you and your data.