Data Jam

Data Jam

Data Jam is a series of two five-day holiday camp workshops for young people ages 12 – 18. Over the course of these workshops, we teach young people about the value of data, and how it can be used to tell stories. In partnership with Heart of Midlothian Football Club (Hearts) Innovation Centre and DataKirk, we delivered these workshops in July and October of 2023.

In these sessions, our group used 150 years of data from Hearts history, discovering and telling the stories of black players at Hearts. The first, John Walker, joined in 1898!

Learn more about Data Jam from Hearts’ video playlist, here.

In 2023, the young people were predominantly from migrant backgrounds, living in the most deprived 10% of SIMD areas in Edinburgh. They benefited hugely from holidays projects that combined science and art. Data scientists, writers and theatre artists facilitated them to create, tell and perform their own stories based on analysing historic data gathered by Hearts over 150 years. They learned how to analyse and be creative with data sets to discover, tell and present stories relevant to their own lives and their community. This helped them understand the role of data in society and their own digital citizenship. It also inspired them to explore pathways into careers in data and digital technology, where there is an urgent need for more women and people of colour.

A series of short films were also created with the support of Hearts’ film maker Jordan Allan. These films have been published on the Hearts youtube channel and shared extensively via social media.

Participants worked collaboratively in groups to explore 150 years of data collected by Hearts Football club. This was made accessible via PowerBI and also as ‘raw’ data, which the participants were taught how to analyse using PowerBI. Participants played games and were facilitated to talk in groups to build team working and trust. They visited the stadium with Hearts Ambassador Gary Locke. Gary was able to tell them about the history of Hearts and the stadium as well as provide personal insights into legendary black players such as John Fashanu with whom he played for several years at Hearts. The young people also visited the onsite museum, where they were able to also discover more about the history of black players at Hearts. 

Participants created timelines for their chosen black players using Knightlab software. They researched their chosen players and also wrote creatively from the point of view at particularly dramatic moments in their lives. Current and ex-football players José Quitongo, Mehdi Taouil, Beni Baningime and Olufolasade Adamolekun also visited the project in person and online. The young people prepared questions for them, based on their research of the data sets. The experience of meeting the professional players was particularly impactful and inspiring. The young people created their own visualisations of the data they mined and presented it both in digital and paper formats.