14 May 2020
From the beginning of February to the end of April at the Faculty of Computer Sciences within the course “Web Programming Technologies” of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy specialists of the YouControl company were helping students to create their own projects and were sharing practical experience of working with open data. The idea of such a joint project emerged together with the lecturers of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy – Maksym Korniichuk and Oleksii Oletskyi.
“Working with students is interesting and fun. Young people are more inclined to experiments, and open data are a relatively new trend. So the tasks we set ourselves were: to share expertise, to rouse students’ interest in the field of open data and to motivate them to create socially important services,” Sergi Milman, the founder and CEO of YouControl, one of the lecturers of the improvised course in Open Data, says. In his opinion, such an exchange between experts’ knowledge and students’ creativity and energy makes the industry more powerful.
While working with YouControl specialists, students developed an mvp (minimally viable product) based on the dataset by all court decisions of 2019 provided by YouControl. “The YouControl team has mega-cool data, expertise that ideally suit IT students to create projects. There are already a lot of ideas of what can be done together in the future,” Maksym Korniichuk, a lecturer at the Faculty of Computer Sciences of the National University of “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”, shared his impressions.
Before starting work on the projects, YouControl representatives delivered lectures at which they explained the peculiarities of working with data in Ukrainian realia. Sergi Milman gave a lecture “Working on an Open Data Product”. Students learned what open data were and how they differed from classified information (confidential or restricted). But even the most open data can be various – from information about the location of bus stops to data on state laws.
Yurii Tomin, a YouControl analyst, told students about reading and analyzing data. From his lecture students learned how code and data could be used to make a socially important product. He also shared a big problem of unstructured data in court registers, as well as his view on how they could be organized.
Students also learned the basics of a user-friendly design and useful tricks for creating a product prototype at the lecture “Prototyping Design”.
To work on projects, students were divided into 4 teams of 5-7 people each and chose topics. Each topic had to solve a socially important problem of a potential user. The first team worked on the idea of providing an opportunity to monitor the activity of judges – to analyze the work and integrity of made decisions, as well as productivity. The project was called “Analysis of the Judge’s Activity by Court Decisions”.
This product, based on statistics, allows to go to the card of a particular judge and to view the following information in it:
• number of decisions made;
• type of proceedings (administrative, economic, etc.) in cases that were accepted for hearing;
• length of service of a judge.
Such data can be useful to:
• investigative journalists who check abuse of authority or detect corruption practices;
• for the analysis of the qualification commission of judges during attestation;
• lawyers to prepare for conducting a case and to understand the quality of the judge’s work on a case;
• law enforcement agencies to search for the facts of abuse.
The second team focused on the product “Statistics of Judges’ Activity by the Time of Accepting and Number of Cases”. This tool enables to learn various statistics on judges, and even more – to filter by the needed criteria and to see information from different angles.
Filters include the time range and the provision of colored bookmarks to indicate interesting columns of information. You can also create and visualize selected data through charts and graphs for better information analysis. Thus the filters will help understand the number of cases in the work of a particular judge for a certain period and the number of accepted cases from the largest to the smallest ones. The tool also offers the opportunity to create your own collections and work with the existing ones, such as:
• judges by the number of cases for the whole time and for the current month;
• judges who have the largest number of rejected and accepted cases.
The team also worked on the user-friendliness of the interface and created a mode of night and day screen backlit, a full screen mode and the ability to save and send information by email, to export it to html.
The third team worked on the project “Who Transfers Cases to Other Courts”. A user was offered the opportunity to see how many cases a particular court transferred to other courts. Because, for example, behind a large number of transferred cases a certain scheme can be hidden. The schedule “Total Number of Cases Accepted by a Particular Court” is made to compare the number of cases with the number of transferred cases. The graph “Number of Cases by Months” will help understand when the court has less workload. Due to it, a lawyer can understand how long a case will be considered.
For a deeper and additional analysis information on the number of judges working in the court was organized, and case statistics were added to understand which cases were being transferred most often.
Potentially this resource may be of interest to both public activists who monitor the work of courts and the state authorities that work on judicial reform.
The fourth team created a project based on consultations and assignments from law students. Thus several schedules, including the ordering of cases, were born:
• by decision, order, resolution, court sentence;
• by type – civil, economic, criminal, administrative.
The team also made the schedule “TOP-5 Days by the Number of Closing Cases”, which will help analyze and look for possible anomalies in the future. On some days a lot of decisions are made and students wonder what is hidden behind this.
YouControl mentors together with the lecturers of the academy accepted the teams’ projects. The projects were evaluated for a technical solution, an idea, a MVP and a design after their defense.
After the defense the most active students were offered a paid internship at the YouControl company. They were provided with the opportunity to stay in the team after the internship and to implement the created projects and technologies.
YouControl has been cooperating with university students for three years already, providing access to the analytical system and conducting trainings for students of economics, law and banking. Students practice working with real tasks and increase their level of knowledge in business and IT.