As part of the first ever International Data Week, DataScience’s Dave Goodsmith will be a facillitator at Data Hackathons: Lessons Learned & Best Practices — a workshop hosted at the convention by the National Science Foundation’s West Big Data Innovation Hub, Research Data Alliance, and Federation of Earth Science Information Partners — to share key takeaways from the recent work DataScience has done with the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Goodsmith’s discussion will take place during the workshop’s first breakout session at 3 p.m. on September 15 at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel in Denver, Colorado. The workshop is part of the 8th Research Data Alliance Plenary Meeting, one of three events under the International Data Week umbrella.

DataScience has been working with the Department of Commerce Chief Data Scientist Jeff Chen and staff to develop a tutorial for analyzing the open Commerce data lake as part of the department’s Commerce Data Usability Project. Tough Crowd: A Deep Dive into Business Dynamics uses the programming language Python and a data visualization library called Plotly to analyze and predict the survival rate of businesses by region.

“Using the Business Dynamics API built by the Department of Commerce, we were able to leverage data from the U.S. Census Bureau about the openings and closing of businesses, job creation rates, firm sizes, and more to create several methods for calculating business survival rates,” explains Guo Liu, lead author of Tough Crowd. “Our tutorial can help users to compare business survival rates across different areas of the country — potentially helping them to understand how their business might fare in a certain region.”

Attendees of the Data Hackathons workshop will learn more about how Liu and Goodsmith queried Department of Commerce data to create a successful survival analysis of U.S. businesses, as well as how other academic, civic, industry, and nonprofit leaders have tackled complicated data challenges under hackathon conditions.

To watch the livestream of the Data Hackathons workshop, visit the West Big Data Innovation Hub website at 2 p.m. MST on September 15. 

Brittany-Marie Swanson
Brittany-Marie Swanson

Web marketing manager at