A Digital India Initiative

Driving Adoption of Open Data at Pune

June 25, 2019


City of Pune is the first city to introduce a city level open data platform and execute Central Government’s Open Data Policy at a Municipal Level. Pune has embarked on the journey of data driven governanceby introducing adata platform that collates the dataexisting in silos, and makes it available on a single, public platform to allstake holders in the ecosystem of city governance.

The City Data Officer (CDO), drives the open data initiative of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC). With 450+ datasets available on the Pune Open Data Portal, PMC’s open data program is established on a strong footing. By deputing a CDO at PMC, Tata Trusts play an important role in facilitating the implementation process.

The Pune open data portal, with its rich datasets, is hitherto an untapped resource. There are very few cases of utilization of this open data for developing public services / propelling innovation and growth in businesses. With this backdrop, the CDO felt the need to:

  • Make the ecosystem partners aware that such authentic city centric data is available freely.
  • Present the many ways and situations in which the available city data could be meaningfully used.
  • Demonstrate the possible analytics outcomes, results and conclusions.

The Pune Open Data Hackathons were conceptualized to address these needs and gaps. The word “hackathon” is a portmanteau of the words “hack” and “marathon“, where “hack” is used in the sense of exploratory programming, and marathon signifying a long race.

The Pune Open Data Hackathons


As explained above, the open data hackathon was conceptualized as an event where problems &challenges faced by the citizens are presented to the participants. The hackathon participants are then expected to develop the solution to these problems using the data available on the Pune open data portal. Solutions based on open source tools were encouraged. There were 6 hackathon events conducted at leading educational institutes in Pune. These were conducted as IEEE events. The participants were primarily students from these institutes. The day of the hackathon was conducted like a laboratory session where the students used methods and techniques to extract knowledge and insights from the data in various forms.They worked towards developing solutions for the problem statements. Experienced professionals were available to guide the participants during the session – to generate ideas and steer them towards the right solution approach. The final solutions may not be completed by the teams on the day of the hackathon, which is typically half a day. The participants are then expected to continue their work outside the event and submit it at a predefined date.


S. No Date Educational Institute Key Domain  Areas Addressed
1 5-Jan-19 Symbiosis Institute for C S R (SICSR) Education
2 2-Feb-19 College of Engineering, Pune (COEP) Health / Demography
3 7-Feb-19 Symbiosis Institute for C S R (SICSR) Energy, Census
4 9-Feb-19 SP Pune University, Department of Statistics Trees, Transport, Education, Energy, Census
5 19-Feb-19 Pune Institute of Computer Technology (PICT) Transport, Property tax
6 25-Feb-19 Pimpri-Chinchwad College of Engineering (PCCoE) Health / Demography


Details of one hackathon event are discussed below, including the outcome.

Problem / Challenge Description:

The Education Department has made available very rich data about the schools on the open data portal. It includes data for the 1200+ schools operational within PMC. And covers the enrollment details for classes 1 to 12 for each academic year from 2012 to 2017. It also has statistics on teaching staff, facilities available at the school and other details regarding the medium of instruction, management category and so on.

  1. A parent seeking school admission for their ward, rely on information obtained from friends and neighbours about the available options. It would be extremely useful for them if a tool is provided that can locate the schools in their neighbourhood and also provide information on facilities, infrastructure, student-teacher ratio etc.
    • Expected Output: A dashboard for the parents that provides analytics and insights using geo-spatial mapping
    • Detail the use case, design and implement the visualizations using PowerBI.
  2. Pune is growing rapidly. New villages have been added to the PMC very recently.
    • Expected Output: A dashboard for education societies that provides the required analytics & insights to help them determine where the next branch of their school could be opened.
    • Identify orthogonal datasets that could be used to provide more detailed insights
    • Detail the use case, design and implement the visualizations using PowerBI.
  3. Study the school data and perform trend analysis around different parameters.

Event Plan:

  1. Preparation: The students were asked to familiarize themselves with the education datasets. The faculty was also briefed about the Pune open data portal and the hackathon problem description.

Event Day

  • A four hour session was planned on the 5th of January, 2019, which was the day of the event. The session started with an overview of the education dataset and explanation of the problem statement.
  • Solution design elements were discussed and POWER BI was suggested as the open source tool for visualization.
  • Solution implementation Step 1: Geospatial mapping of the schools through team work: The education dataset has 1200+ schools in 5 zones. The participants were divided in 5 teams and each team was assigned one zone of Pune for mapping the schools geo-spatially.
  • Each team mapped the schools from their zone and the data was consolidated.
  • A good number of schools were mapped geo-spatially in the 90 minutes assigned to this task.
  • Solution implementation Step 2: Some representative visualization was demonstrated to the students and they were then encouraged to develop it further.
  • Facilitators mingled with the teams, contributed to the ideation and provided guidance on the solution approach, as required.
  • The participants were given a three-week window to make the final submission.

Event Outcome –Schools Dashboard for Parents

Among the five teams that participated in the event, one teamhas completed the geo-spatial mapping of all the schools within PMC. The team has also developed a dashboard for parents (Refer Visual 4). The dashboard is developed in PowerBI and a short project reportpresents the explanation and analysis.


  • Illustrating the meaningful use of open data to the student community is a “win-win” situation for the city as well as the students. The city benefits from the solutions developed. On the other hand, the students and researchers benefit from improved data literacy, which is a very core skill in data science. (Data Literacy – is the ability to read, understand, create and communicate data as information).
  • A decision support tool – for parents seeking school admission for their children – has been created through this hackathon. It is an important and useful outcome.
  • The event has resulted in awareness amongst the college faculty too about the open data available and possibilities around it. Faculty members have agreed to take upproblem areas that use the Pune open data for projects in the coming academic year.
  • The success of this pilot event has generated tremendous interest from academia. There is a need to scale up these events in the immediate future.