News and Events

Data Challenge: tracking ship movements and detecting illness in children

September 4th, 2015 - Tilburg University data science researchers help non-profit organizations to address Big Data challenges. At a symposium on September 11th, they will present cases of Greenpeace and Jeroen Bosch Hospital to illustrate both solutions and challenges offered by Big Data.

The first Data Challenge for Social Good by Tilburg University is dedicated to tracking vessels at open sea to reveal illegal activities such as dumping waste. The case was brought in by Greenpeace. All seaworthy ships have a public tracking system (AIS) but crews with shady intentions can turn it off.

The second case taken on board concerns detecting patterns in health problems in children. A runny nose or a bout of flu is usually nothing serious, but sometimes there is an underlying disease that has to be treated. Jeroen Bosch Hospital asked for help to determine the fine line between minor and real  through data analysis.

Symposium Data Challenge for Social Good

During a symposium on September 11th, Tilburg University’s data scientists will explain their solutions to these two Data Challenges for Social Good. In addition, conditions for smart use of big data will be addressed as well as those for successful cooperation between academics and non-academic organizations. The Data Challenge for Social Good is sponsored by Rabobank Tilburg en Omstreken as well as Interpolis.

For the full program see Symposium Data Challenge 2015

Note for editors

Journalists are very welcome to attend the symposium (including lunch) on 11 September 2015, from 12 AM at the Tilburg University campus, Tias Building, room TZ9. For more information and registration please contact Carina Schlosser, tel. +31 13 466 2468, e-mail

Data Science @Tilburg University

The creation, availability and use of data and information increasingly determine opportunities and risks for our society. Tilburg University contributes to research and education in the area of big data from the opinion that optimal and careful use of the innovative potential of big data requires a cross-disciplinary approach. Our experts are engaged in interdisciplinary research on the many facets of big data, pursuing the motto Understanding Society.