Harvard College Open Data Project (HODP)

From HODP Wiki

Harvard College Open Data Project
Members 40
Fall Comp? Yes
Spring Comp? Yes

The Harvard College Open Data Project (HODP) is a student organization founded in 2016 dedicated to increasing transparency on campus and providing data-driven insights to campus issues.

Basic Information

  • Faculty Advisor: Nick Sinai, Adjunct Lecturer at the Kennedy School
  • Mission statement: The Harvard College Open Data Project (HODP) is a student-faculty group that aims to increase transparency and solve problems on campus using public Harvard data.

Comp Process

HODP Bootcamp Website

Fall Bootcamp

The Fall bootcamp is intended to be accessible to students of all backgrounds. Over the course of the semester, bootcampers are taught programming, data scraping, and data analysis skills in weekly bootcamps. In order to complete the comp, bootcampers are also required to finish a project analyzing data about Harvard. The topics for the Fall 2019 bootcamp were as follows:

  • Introduction to Python
  • NumPy and Pandas
  • Data Scraping
  • Datathon
  • Data Journalism and Statistics

Spring Bootcamp

The Spring bootcamp is intended to be a more expedited version of the Fall bootcamp, and some prior technical experience is expected. Bootcampers will similarly be expected to complete a project analyzing data about Harvard, and more time is dedicated to completing the project.


The Fast-Track program is intended to allow students who already have substantial technical background to focus on completing an advanced project throughout the semester. Rather than attending bootcamps, Fast-Trackers attend regular member meetings and form a group with other Fast-Trackers to complete a project by the end of the semester.


HODP leadership consists of an executive committee, which is responsible for administrative decisions and the overall direction of the club, and three teams that are responsible for the remainder of club operations: Content, Publishing, and Internal Relations. Individual projects are led by project leads. Members can apply to be project leads and will pitch their project to the rest of the club. Project leads are responsible for directing their project and setting a work schedule for members who decide to participate in their project.


The Content team is responsible for the writing and editing of articles for HODP. They interface with project leads to generate ideas for projects and to assist in the process of turning analyses into articles.


The Publishing team is responsible for managing the website and the publication of content. The Publisher works with the Content team to make sure that articles are published with high quality graphics, and also works to publicize the articles on social media. The Publishing team is also responsible for maintaining the technological infrastructure of the club, including website development and technology for projects.

Internal Relations

The Internal Relations team is responsible for organizing club events and finances. The Director of Internal Relations plans socials and communicates the planned socials to the rest of the club. The Treasurer manages the budget and works with the Director of Internal Relations to make sure that social events are properly financed. The Internal Relation team also leads planning on the HODP Datathon each semester.