There’s no shortage of people and organizations in Philadelphia that are doing new and exciting things with data. From the city’s launch of their open data policy, to startups like Azavea and Textizen, to organizations that have been cornerstones of the Philly business community for a long time, like Comcast, Independence Blue Cross, and GlaxoSmithKline. As a Philly startup with a mission to inspire and empower data-driven people, we’ve always considered ourselves fortunate to be a part of such a vibrant data-driven community.

That’s why last Thursday we decided to hold the first annual Data Jawn, an event aimed at bringing together Philly’s data nerds for a few hours of geeking out about all the cool and innovative ways people in the city are using data.

Just under 200 people packed into the auditorium at the Chemical Heritage Foundation for a chance to meet fellow Philly data nerds and listen to a wide-range of speakers discuss topics exploring data’s history, the challenges of building a data-savvy team, and different ways data is being used by leading public and private sector organizations.

Here’s what went down:

Rise of the Data Hero

Jake Stein, RJMetrics COO and Co-Founder, set the stage for the event with a historical perspective on data, and how the trends around data-driven thinking are evolving.

Bridging the Gap Between Analysis & Action

Stacey Mosley, Data Services Manager for the City of Philadelphia, shared practical tips on how to help business users and analysts get better results together.

Lightning Talks

Madeleine FitzGerald, Account Manager at RJMetrics, shared a story about how she discovered the most common mistake people make with data.

Lauren Ancona, Data Scientist at the City of Philadelphia, and Christopher Tufts, Development Engineer at CenTrak shared a fun project they’ve been working on mining local tweets to determine the most popular emojis being used in Philadelphia.

David Wallace, Senior Business Intelligence Analyst at RJMetrics, shared lessons learned from building out a framework for internal analytics from scratch.

Kimberly Siejak, Director of Informatics at Independence Blue Cross, talked about how predictive models are able to drive clinical management and optimize care.

Data, Design, Decisions: How Technology & Good Design Can Turn Information Into Insights

Jim Multari, Executive Director, Marketing Planning & Research at Comcast, shared insights on how design and development teams can work together to make data simple for executives to digest.

Thinking in Data: Overcoming Cognitive Biases & Making Data Driven Decisions

Ben Garvey, Senior Software Engineer at RJMetrics, talked about the challenges humans face when using and processing data, and how data visualizations have the power to help our brains comprehend what the data is telling us.

Data in Philly: Changes, Challenges, & Community

And finally, Robert J. Moore, RJMetrics CEO & Co-Founder, as well as the emcee for the event, moderated a panel that included Robert Cheetham, President & Founder of Azavea, Michelle Lee, CEO & Co-Founder of Textizen, and Eric Ulken, Executive Director of Digital Strategy at, The Inquirer and Daily News. The panel talked about the changes and challenges that the Philly data community faces now, and possibly in the future.

We hope all that were able to attend enjoyed the event, we’re already collecting ideas for Data Jawn 2016, and if you happen to be on the West Coast, tickets are now on sale for Data Point Live coming to San Francisco on October 1st!