HacksHackers East Africa: The Art of Statistics

WanaData
Hacks/Hackers Africa
3 min readFeb 17, 2023

By Stephane Njoki

The January East Africa HacksHackers session featured Code for Africa’s Data Analyst and Statistician, Christine Kandeo, in an interactive meetup on The Art of Statistics: How to Learn from Data Mistakes. The event drew a diverse group of individuals seeking to gain insights into data through a statistical lens.

Kandeo began the session by providing an overview of the root causes of data generation, processing, and communication pitfalls. She discussed common mistakes in the data process and how the misuse of statistics, whether accidental or intentional, can lead to unsound analysis. Topics included cherry-picking, the fallacy of incomplete evidence, misleading data visualizations, and the misuse of statistics.

A highlight of the session was a case study by Literary Digest that illustrated the dangers of biased sampling. The 1936 straw poll, which predicted Alf Landon’s defeat of Franklin Roosevelt in the United States presidential election, was a famously lousy projection due to a non-representative sample of only 2.4 million out of 10 million respondents.

Source: Sidetrade Tech Hub

Throughout the session, the speaker emphasised the importance of avoiding loaded questions when collecting survey data and provided tips for doing so. These included avoiding rephrasing participant responses in one’s own words, not suggesting answers, removing discriminatory language, and avoiding assumptions.

The event was a resounding success and left attendees feeling motivated and equipped to conduct better surveys and avoid statistical misuse.

HacksHackers Nigeria: Introduction to Robotics and Automation

By Freda Victor

At HacksHackers Nigeria’s January meetup, Hardware Engineer Ahmed Biu Usman from Code for Africa led an interactive session on “Introduction to Robotics and Automation.” A diverse group of attendees eager to learn about the field gathered for the event.

Ahmed introduced robotics and automation, including definitions, types, and skills required. He then discussed their practical applications in the manufacturing, healthcare, and transportation industries.

The session’s highlight was a practical demonstration of Tinkercad, a user-friendly tool for designing and simulating electronic devices. Attendees learned how to use Tinkercad to create their simple robotic designs and saw their simulations in action.

Throughout the session, Ahmed emphasised the importance of staying current with the latest technology and trends in the field and offered valuable resources and tips for those interested in pursuing a career in robotics and automation.

The event was a triumph and inspired attendees to take their first steps in the fascinating field of robotics and automation.

The worlds of hackers and journalists are coming together, as reporting goes digital and Internet companies become media empires.

Journalists call themselves “hacks,” someone who can churn out words in any situation. Hackers use the digital equivalent of duct tape to whip out code.

Hacker-journalists try to bridge the two worlds. Hacks/Hackers Africa aims to bring all these people together — those who are working to help people make sense of our world. It’s for hackers exploring technologies to filter and visualise information, and for journalists who use technology to find and tell stories. In the age of information overload and collapse of traditional business models for legacy media, their work has become even more crucial.

Code for Africa, the continent’s largest #OpenData and civic technology initiative, recognises this and is spearheading the establishment of a network of HacksHackers chapters across Africa to help bring together pioneers for collaborative projects and new ventures.

Follow Hacks/Hackers Africa on Twitter and Facebook and join the Hacks/Hackers community group today.

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