Applications open for Lintol Coding Challenge - validating unstructured Hansard data

  • Data validation project Lintol has launched its Coding Challenge today (22 February), which is open to individuals and teams of all coding abilities for the next fortnight.

    Funded by the Open Data Institute, the challenge is to create processors that can validate unstructured data within the Hansard transcripts of NI Assembly debates. 

    Product Manager for Lintol, Sarah Byrne told Sync NI: "A processor is just some way to either validate or find specific things within the text. For instance, one has been created that is basically a spell-checker.

    "I'm so excited to see what comes out of it, because it will be interesting for a number of people. 

    "We have a £500 fund for the first prize winner, and two prizes of £250 for runners-up. We also have spot prizes of JustEat and Amazon vouchers.

    "It's open to anyone - big companies across Belfast are putting in their own teams and individual students from Queen's University have signed up already too."

    Lintol is a bit like a grammar-checker for open data. It’s a software tool which automatically checks thousands of rows of data and detects any fixes that need to be made before publishing.

    Although Python will be the focus other programming languages are welcome. All code needs to be licensed, either MIT or Apache and publicly available by the time of submission.

    RELATED: Business in the Community launches coding competition with Allstate NI

    Each valid submission will be judged by criteria comprised of documentation, commenting, presentation, security, creativity and innovation, and collaboration. 

    Submissions must be open source and must be sent by 6pm 8 March.

    Lintol is also running webinars, including a 'Python 101' on 23 March, a 'Processor Intro' on 24 March and 'A Careers In Data Evening' in which companies with vacancies can pitch directly to you. 

    Register here to take part in the challenge. You can reach the team on the Lintol Challenge 2021 Rocket Chat Channel here also.

    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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