Data Analysis for Social Good
• When people hear the term “data science,” they think of how insight from data analytics is being used to create new technologies, target ads to consumers, and maximize profits and sales in business. However, data science and analytics can serve another purpose – one that sparks social good.
• The “data for good” concept may feature one or several key characteristics. For instance, it could be the product of volunteers that create a data product for a subsidized rate or for free. It could also be representative of nonprofits or government agencies receiving the product. Additionally, it may be linked to tools for data work that are donated or subsidized. Finally, the term could associate with educational programs that build technical capacity in underserved communities.
• Nonprofits can utilize the data they source in a wide variety of ways. Some of these uses include tracking and analyzing nonprofit staff activity, streamlining operations, measuring return on investment, and identifying potential donors
• Absalom Carlisle shares some examples as: One of the more visible data-driven organizations is Change.org, a website that runs campaigns that aim to save lives and change laws. A second example is the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which announced plans to utilize data analytics to combat the opioid crisis. Another example of data-driven organizations in action, Community Technology Alliance (CTA), was founded to develop data-driven solutions to poverty and homeless. The platform Ginger.io uses data to provide behavior health coaching, therapy, and self-led guides and assessments.
• Another data-driven organization doing good is Qlik, a company that provides nonprofit organizations with data to make important decisions. Finally, the organization Data For Good was founded to help organizations and communities to create data-driven strategies to solve various challenges.