Meet Your Splunk Hackathon Winners: Correlating Public Health Data

Tim Baldwin, Andrew Tillotson and Zach Vida {team name: “Son of Buttercup”, spirit animal: “Buzzard”} won first place in the “Best Application for Social Impact” category at Splunk’s first App Builder Contest at .conf2012 by building an app that correlates large sets of public health data. After considering multiple publicly available data sets on the internet, Son of Buttercup agreed to explore correlations between toxic pollution and various causes of death. The team found Splunk to be very useful, since the data set included multiple years worth of data for every county in the United States. Son of Buttercup used Splunk to quickly create multiple scatter plots to look for correlation and see if there was a strong link between pollution in a country and deaths from cancer.

Two-thirds of the team had never worked with Splunk before .conf2012, but by the end of the Hackathon they had double digit graphs and scatter plots showing potential correlation, and received quite a reaction from the crowd when showing that the state hosting the conference was number one in pollution.

While the team was working on the scatter plots, Vida also put together a few graphs of power center data to show a way to better manage power consumption at a data center.

Jon Rooney

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