Tackling the world's biggest problems through data scienceBy DataKind
DataKind brings together non-profit organisations with leading pro bono data scientists to tackle the world's biggest problems through data science.
Launched in 2011, DataKind is headquartered in New York City and has Chapters in the UK, Bangalore, Dublin, San Francisco, Singapore and Washington DC. DataKind UK was DataKind's first Chapter and is its own independently-run charity that upholds DataKind's vision of using data in the service of humanity.
DataKind provides pro bono data science support to NGOs and charities through three main programs - the DataCorps, DataDives and Community Events. Its signature program, the DataCorps, convenes an elite group of pro bono data scientists, including statisticians, data engineers, computer programmers and project managers, to work with charities on 6-9 month pro bono projects that leverage data to maximize their impact. DataDives are weekend-long, marathon-style events that team up data science volunteers with charities to work on carefully scoped data challenges and questions to help organisations take a first step in understanding how data science can advance their work or get an initial view of what's in their data.
From using mapping technology and open government data to find children in need of hospice care in the UK to using data scraped from websites to support human rights in Europe, DataKind has already completed over 30 projects with organisations large and small, many of which are highlighted as case studies on its website.
One small UK charity, The Key, took part in a DataDive and discovered that two of the four stages in the model they had been using to work with youth for over two decades, produced similar results. The DataDive showed them what new data they needed to collect to restructure those stages to make their model more efficient and effective. In the year after the DataDive, the charity started to use their data to improve their work and demonstrate their impact to funders. The Key has since hired two part-time data analysts and become a data-driven organisation!
DataKind Chapters like DataKind UK are spearheading the Data-for-Good movement in their communities where local data scientists donate their skills and time for social good. “No one bats an eye at pro bono law,” says DataKind founder and executive director Jake Porway. “Why not pro bono data science as well?”
Image courtesy of DataKind
Last updated: 05th of September, 2014