Jos Polfliet @ DISUMMIT 2017: “Preventing suicide using text analytics”

Jos Polfliet is a data scientist working for SAS who loves analysing complex problems and predicting the future. He believes in using the power of data to transform and improve the world in almost every field, as he has experienced with the project he came to share at DI Summit.

About Jos sharing how text analytics can prevent suicide

Jos shared his experience in Canada at that the Data Impact Challenge organised by the Canadian organisation Imagine Nation. The challenge Jos and his worked on was on  analysing 1.1 million tweets of Canadian teenagers on bullying and suicidal thoughts to spot patterns which could then be used to develop actions towards youth mental health.

Rather than the award his solution received, what is focal to Jos is how can it be replicated in other locations. During his presentation at DI Summit, Jos requested the attendees to provide leads of people who could help him to replicate the analysis in Belgium. Less than an hour later, he already had 3 leads, some of them related to profiles Jos would not have thought about!

In order to boost the power of data, Jos mainly gets inspired by following people online. He attends offline events mainly for meeting potential partners for projects, and -like he did- to make a call for a specific need.

To wrap up, Jos invited organisations to reflect on the data they have and organise regular review with the business departments to, according to their priorities, crosscheck with the business departments to spot the opportunities and projects which can be developed.

Our favorite phrase from Jos’s presentation

“Don’t let data sitting around without asking what can be done with it”


We hope that Jos keeps on sharing with us how data analysis has been used in different contexts!

Jos’s interview:

Jos’s presentation recording:

Jos’s decks:

[To be uploaded asap]

Jos’s presentation drawing:


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