Nonprofit Employs Agile Methodology To Build Global Peace

Cloud Advisory Services From Hitachi Vantara Help Nonprofit Organization To Interactively Share Data and Insights About Social and Economic Unrest Around the Globe

Challenge: For a big “reveal” at a key event, the nonprofit organization required a data-driven AWS partner that could help streamline development of its peacebuilding platform and integrate all back-end and front-end technologies.

Solution: Employing agile methodology and implementing a number of AWS capabilities on a streamlined basis, the solution supported the nonprofit in developing a minimum viable product (MVP) to demonstrate to beta testers and key stakeholders.

Outcomes:

The nonprofit was able to demonstrate the application that provided:

  • Early warning of social and business disruption in emerging and fragile economies.
  • Data visualization through an interactive map pinpointing locations with unrest, as well as critical locations for visual risk assessment.
  • Insight into potential and current impact due to unrest such as: supply chain, manufacturing and events that could cause harm to population segments.
  • Real-time data ingestion and news feed.

About the Nonprofit

The nonprofit organization works to reduce violent conflict and accelerate peacebuilding efforts through technology, media and data. It brings together engineers and activists, MBAs and conflict experts, social scientists, data scientists and other innovators to develop effective peacebuilding solutions.

The Challenge

The nonprofit peacebuilding organization needed to create an MVP in a short period of time to showcase at a key public event. The idea was to make it available to critical beta users who could test important concepts of the product and gain insight into what would drive them to purchase it. The organization set up a dummy demo, and asked volunteers to create some back-end services and user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) mockups.

The key technology was a machine learning (ML) model that ran in the background. The nonprofit needed this to be evaluated and woven together into a live, usable application.

Much of the back-end work and UI ended up being unusable, and had to be recreated during the engagement.

Technical challenges inclued defining the scope, designing the UI (see Figure 1) and developing an interactive web application showing real-time data so that the product could be beta tested in six weeks.


Design of UI needed to show real-time data

The Solution

The Cloud Advisory Services team was selected based on its deep experience with AWS, as well as its seasoned application of an “agile methodology,” including story mapping, sprint planning, daily scrum meetings, retrospecting and demos. In addition, focuses on data-driven applications and data lake architecture were key criteria (see FIgure 2). The solution:

  • Supported the nonproft in defining the scope of the project and documenting the initial vision through a story mapping session.
  • Worked closely alongside nonprofit’s “groundTruth” software team to design the UI and provide mockups and wireframes.
  • Offered multiple AWS services to support the data ingestion and back-end development, including Amazon S3, AWS cognito, RDS, API gateway, AWS CloudFront and Lambda functions.
  • Implemented the UI by creating multiple views in AngularJS 4 and an interactive map using Mapbox.
  • Allowed, throughout the duration of the project, the groundTruth team to actively participate in the process. Convened weekly demos of the work completed during the week.
  • Offered daily working sessions with groundTruth to provide the opportunity for testing with immediate fixes and to ensure maximum client satisfaction.

Benefits of Solutions Delivered by Hitachi Vantara


AWS Services Used

The solution team used various AWS services as shown in Table 1.

AWS Services

Solution Architecture

The architecture was updated to answer the nonprofit’s challenges, as shown in Figure 3.

The Business Benefits

The purpose of the MVP was to offer a beta test to a particular customer of the nonprofit organization. Working with the Cloud Advisory Services team, the organization was able was able to achieve the primary goal of the project: to demonstrate and provide the application to beta users at an important public event, and ensure that the application was ready for key stakeholders to use and provide validated learning.

The business benefits and services offered by the AWS web applications are:

  • Customer-branded login experience.
  • Early warning of social and business disruption in emerging and fragile economies.
  • Data visualization through an interactive map that pinpoints locations with unrest, as well as the nonprofit’s critical locations for visual risk assessment.
  • Insight into potential and current impact due to unrest, such as: supply chain, manufacturing and events that could cause harm to population segments.
  • Real-time data ingestion.
  • Real-time newsfeed.
  • Basic data analysis and graph.
  • “Heat Map” to visualize unrest across the globe.

Hitachi Vantara Cloud solution Architecture


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