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GDI Meets Hui E!: Visualising a COVID Recovery Path for the NZ Community Sector

March 2022, WELLINGTON:

Fast-growing Australian-registered not for profit, the Good Data Institute, has today announced the launch of a partnership with Hui E! Community Aotearoa (Hui E!) to visualise insights, stories and identify COVID recovery paths for the NZ community sector via a 6-week hackathon involving 17 data analytics professionals.

Hui E! is the peak body for the tangata whenua, community and voluntary sector in Aotearoa New Zealand, with a particular focus on small to medium community groups. The peak body celebrates the sector’s contribution to our communities, advocates for its needs, provides capacity and capability building, networking support, and represents its interests with the government and philanthropic sectors.

The GDI-Hui E! partnership will see 17 talented data analytics professionals who have joined the Good Data Institute community via a structured onboarding process (known as the Data For Good program) work hand in hand with Hui E! during a 6-week hackathon. These volunteers will investigate and visualise two anonymised survey datasets comprising over 1300 NFP respondents who shared how COVID had impacted their not-for-profit organisations.

The COVID Hauora Wellbeing research was conducted in June-July 2021, just before Aotearoa New Zealand went into its second national lockdown in August. It was a follow-on from the 2020 Time to Shine research and included focus groups with organisations caring for Māori, Pasifika, Ethnic and disability communities.

GDI volunteer hackathon participants will use tools such as R, Python, natural language processing, segmentation and dashboarding tools such as Power BI, Tableau and Google Data Studio to bring life to this dataset and reveal insights and showcase stories of vulnerability and resilience, particularly for the smallest sized NFPs, who form the majority of the sector.

The hackathon kicked off yesterday, on Sunday the 20th of March, and will conclude with a Finale on Sunday the 1st of May, with a judging panel assessing the quality of outputs and presentations produced by the GDI volunteers and prizes awarded to the 1st and 2nd placed teams.

Ultimately, Hui E! aims to drive the long-term systemic change that's needed for these community groups. Hui E!’s Kaiwhakahaere Matua Chief Executive, Rochelle Stewart-Allen, commented that “the reason why we're mostly focused on those smaller groups is that they're the biggest part of the sector, and they're also the most invisible outside the sector. I call them charity SME’s, with one to five employees, each doing five jobs, they're just busy, delivering out into the front lines of their communities.”

The reason why these two datasets are particularly important is that they are national and nobody has reported the full national story before — reporting tends to be regional or focused on a subsector. Investigating the state of the sector via these extensive COVID-survey datasets will enable longer-term planning and more exposure for the sector. In addition, a large part of the hackathon challenge will be to generate ‘data assets’, such as dashboards, that are more accessible to the public and user-friendly.

GDI Co-Founder and Director, Tom Perfrement, said that Hui E! is a perfect partner to support via the GDI Data For Good Program hackathon. “We share many similarities with Hui E! in that we are working across the not-for-profit sector, aiming to empower charities with new capabilities. We’re excited to see the depth and breadth of D&A skills in our volunteers come to life via this hackathon challenge.”

Hui E!’s Kaiwhakahaere Kaupapa Project Manager, Ronja Ievers, said there is a large number of qualitative stories in the COVID datasets which have not yet been investigated deeply. “There's a lot of qualitative information, which is really rich, and we haven’t even touched the surface on that with the analysis we've done so far. We’re excited to see some of these fantastic stories from the datasets be brought to life via data analytics and visualisations”.

GDI is the first and largest pro-bono organisation in Australia exclusively providing data analytics assistance to the not-for-profit community. Tom says that the GDI model has been established in such a way that GDI is building a scalable community of passionate, community-minded individuals sharing similar goals. “Our cohort program is based on the realisation that the strength of our community is what makes GDI special and ensures our services are a win-win for volunteers and not just the charities that we serve.”

The Data For Good Program will continue to run across March, April and May, consisting of 6 learning and development sessions and the Hui E! hackathon, followed by another intake of D&A professionals mid-year. For more information, please visit GDI’s website:

Following the hackathon, Hui E! and GDI will advance findings within their networks, make recommendations for action and work with key influencers to promote change.


Spokesperson(s): Tom Perfrement (GDI), Rochelle Stewart-Allen (Hui E!)

Volunteer participants of the 2022 GDI Data For Good Hackathon with Hui E!

About Hui E!

Hui E! is the peak body for the tangata whenua, community and voluntary sector in Aotearoa. They champion the sector for a fair and just Aotearoa. They do this through hui (gatherings), āwhina (support) and kōrero (conversation).

About GDI:

GDI unlocks the power of data within Australian and NZ not for profits. Our 100+ data analytics volunteers work for companies including Microsoft, BCG and Google and empower charities to increase efficiency, automate processes and increase impact. GDI volunteer teams have worked with over 30 NFPs, across large and small organisations – including Opportunity International, the NZ Red Cross, The Hunger Project, the NSW Nature Conservation Council, Inclusive America, and Caring Kids. Learn more about our community at

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