Wrap Up: Fall Digital Innovation Hackathon

Wrap Up: Fall Digital Innovation Hackathon

(Note: This blog post also appears at The GSA Blog.)

Here at the General Services Administration we are working hard to provide better service at a greater value to the American public.

That’s why, on Friday, we hosted our GSA Digital Innovation Hackathon Fall Edition. Hackathons benefit citizens and our partner agencies by making our data more public and putting many minds together. Hackathons are about open government; encouraging participation from citizens and other federal agencies with a spirit of innovation; and collaboration that improves how government operates for the benefit of all.

As we learned during our first hackathon back in May, giving others the opportunity to help us solve a problem can result in cost savings. Our May hackathon produced three digital products and generated a $125,000 return on investment. The results included the development of a mobile application for building managers, as well as a data mashup that created operational efficiencies for contracting officers.

During our hackathon on Friday, we worked collaboratively on three projects:

  • Greenhouse Gas Challenge
    The greenhouse gas challenge was focused on creating a framework and tool to support visualizations of agency greenhouse gas emission reductions. This included visualizations of how an agency’s use of alternative vehicles such as hybrid and electric vehicles, rather than traditional gas-powered vehicles, affected the level of greenhouse gas emissions over a period of time.
  • Data Center Challenge
    The data center consolidation challenge helped us figure out how stakeholders including the White House, Congress, government agencies and nonprofit organizations can better understand data center costs and usage and how to move from manual data management to an automated process.
  • Travel Data Analysis Challenge
    The travel data analysis challenge resulted in improvements in the way federal government travel managers and officials use travel data, including airfare and hotel costs, to save the government and taxpayers money.

These are important projects and I was excited to see the solutions and ideas the teams developed.

Three teams won the hackathon and received a total of $15,000 in prize money. One of the winners used open source tools, developed a quick schedule with goals and created a mobile application to solve the data center consolidation challenge. Their application will be used by federal managers throughout the federal government.


Check out our Storify to see more from the event, and stay tuned for more announcements about the products developed today.