Box-Plots for Education

Tag school budgets automatically to help districts get a better grasp of their spending and how to improve the impact of their scarce resources. #education

$7,500 in prizes
jan 2015
294 joined

ERS is a non-profit that helps schools be more effective in their spending. They hosted a data science challenge to gain better insights into education budgets, with the goal of improving the quality of education for students, teachers and administrators.


Budgets for schools and school districts are huge, complex, and unwieldy. It’s no easy task to digest where and how schools are using their resources. Education Resource Strategies (ERS) tackles just this task with the goal of letting districts be smarter, more strategic, and more effective in their spending.

The Solution

The right algorithm, paired with some human checks, allows ERS to code financial files more accurately, more quickly, and more cheaply. As a result, they’re able to offer these valuable insights to many more districts at a much lower cost, greatly extending their impact.

The Results

ERS was thrilled with the results, and notes that it was an excellent return on their investment. The winning algorithm came from a competitor who had submitted 50+ times; this algorithm will tag files with over 90% accuracy and will save ERS 75% of the time usually taken to code financial files. After the competition was complete, DrivenData worked with ERS to develop a user-friendly Excel tool to incorporate the algorithm into their everyday workflow.