The Datahub: what exactly is it, which projects do we carry out and what do we want to achieve with it? Marloes interviewed Marieke, chair of the Datahub, about this in the Data Jobcast! Listen to the podcast or read the article below.
Could you please introduce yourself?
"I am Marieke and I have been working at Digital Power for 4 years now. I started as a Data Science consultant and I studied social protection policy. After two years of working as a consultant,I started to think about ways in which I could contribute my own (and my colleagues’) data skills and knowledge to the social good, to see how our work as data consultants could help combat inequality and other social issues that I had studied," says Marieke.
Coincidentally, Digital Power was revising its mission and vision at this time. Our mission became to make data knowledge and expertise accessible to everyone, including society. This led to the the launch of our Digital Power Datahub, a foundation through which we share our knowledge of data with society. In November 2021, Marieke officially became the proud chair of the Datahub.
Can you tell me a bit more about the foundation?
Marieke explains that the aim of the Datahub is to share data knowledge and expertise with society and there are two pillars for this.
Pillar 1: Data for Good
Through our first pillar, we run data projects for free for charities and non-profit organisations to ensure that they can also benefit from all the great things data has to offer. Marieke: "A good example of this is that my colleagues Karin and Mariska helped the organisation Dokters van de Wereld with a user research project. This is how we use data for different purposes than the usual ‘for profit’."
Pillar 2: Data literacy
Secpndly, the Datahub provides data literacy education. This involves teaching people, to handle their personal data in a way that aligns with their own values. "Just this morning, for instance, I was in group 7/8 of a primary school in Amsterdam to educate on this topic. We try to bring data literacy to all ages and target groups. As soon as you come into contact with digital technology, data becomes important. And so, then, does data literacy," according to Marieke.
What is the coolest project you have done so far?
Marieke says that she really enjoys educating people. "My favourite project thus far was giving a data course to senior citizens through SeniorWeb. Ina theatre in Flevoland, my colleague Rogier and I gave a workshop about what data is, what opportunities and risks it brings to our lives and how we can (re)gain some control over our own data," Marieke said.
The project gave Marieke a lot of satisfaction,and at the same time it was a confirmation that what the Datahub does is really necessary. The elderly participants asked many questions, but also expressed their concerns about the topic. Marieke was happy to see that she and Rogier could be of value that day in taking away some concerns, and answering many questions.
I believe you are also active outside the Netherlands with the Datahub, is that right?
The Datahub has been giving a course to US nonprofit organisations since this autumn. The course consists of six parts and is about using data to make more impact. This course is live, but we will also soon be making a course available on demand. Next year, the Datahub will also start teaching nonprofits within Europe. Marieke ends with a nice quote: "Wherever there is data, the Datahub might be of added value."
What future plans do you have for the Datahub?
Marieke's ambition is very big. Ideally, she would like to make the whole world data literate (“datawijs” in Dutch), from people to small and even large organisations. In the coming period, Datahub's main focus will be on the Netherlands. "We want to ensure that our teaching methods are spread in the Netherlands and reach different target groups, from young people to old people. This way, everyone is connected around the theme of data and we truly live up to the name 'Datahub'," Marieke said.
How can potential colleagues contribute to the Datahub?
If you join Digital Power, you can contribute the hours you do not spend on client assignments to Datahub projects. Marieke adds, "If we get bigger projects within the Datahub, you can even devote your time entirely to this. You can use your data skills for social projects or work with me to provide education in primary schools or other places."
Want to know more about the Datahub?
Marieke is happy to tell you more about the Datahub or read more here.
This is the Data jobcast by Marloes de Bruin, Marketing Manager at Digital Power
What is it like to work at a fast-growing data consultancy firm? In this podcast, I interview colleagues about their work at Digital Power. I speak to data consultants with different areas of expertise, as well as staff members. What does their working week look like, what challenges do they face and what do they love about their work and our company? You can hear it in the Digital Power jobcast!
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