Data Without Borders, the organization devoted to bringing the skills of data scientists to nonprofits and NGOs who could better use their data to fulfil their charitable missions, has announced two weekend "DataDive" events in New York (on Oct 14-16) and in San Francisco (Nov 4-6). Billed as "a weekend of working with data in the service of humanity", these DataDives will connect data scientists with CEOs, CIOs, CTOs and other leaders at charitable organizations, with the mission to create tangible analyses and applications from the data they have collected.
At the Strata Conference in New York last month, DWB leaders Drew Conway and Jake Porway hosted a kick-off meeting attended by both data scientists from the conference and nonprofits from the NY area. At the meeting, Drew described the format of the DataDive events. On the Friday evening the charities will give presentations describing three problems they'd like to solve (for example, getting better insights into the profiles of prospective donors, or identifying regions that could most benefit from grants). On Saturday morning, everyone starts hacking to solve the problems -- the doors will stay open for 24 hours, and charity representatives will stay to interact with the data science teams and provide guidance. Finally, on the Sunday the data science teams will present with C-level executives on the results of their work ... and ideally form a long-term relationship to continue the work beyond the DataDive.
At the Strata meeting, the excitement from the charities and nonprofits was palpable -- there's clearly great opportinity here to use the data that they've collected (often in unstructured formats, and sometimes not even digitzed) to better deliver on their missions. In fact, the New York event is already oversubscribed, and the San Francisco event is sure to be just the first in a series of regional events. (There was even talk of setting up chapters overseas.) It's clear that these DataDives will make a significant effect on the effects of charitable work, and that's why Revolution Analytics is very proud to be a sponsor of Data Without Borders.
Learn more about the goals of Data Without Borders and the upcoming Data Dives in the talk below, given by Drew and Jake at the Strata NY conference.
Data Without Borders: Jake and Drew talk about “doing good with data” at the Strata Conference