When I first heard about Edgeflip, I was truly intrigued. Think about it. A bunch of really talented data scientists coming together to help charities, NGOs and the like. Technology geeks who earned fame as the analytics team that led the Obama campaign, now using their knowledge of analytics to make the world a better place. Truly inspiring!
The main objective of Edgeflip, is to ensure that non-profits, advocacy groups and charities, have the best, easy-to-use, and effective analytics and technology tools at their disposal. They are building a product that will help these organizations better use social networks for list building, fundraising, advocacy, content sharing, and volunteer recruiting and mobilization. They hope that if they have these tools, these social good organisations will be empowered to make insightful decisions that translate into intelligent targeting and influence models.
And then I discovered another organisation, DataKind that brings together leading data scientists and high impact social organizations. The data scientists help the social organizations improve the quality of the data they have. They use their shared insights to improve their access to, and understanding of the data as well, resulting in better decision-making and ultimately greater social impact.
Indeed the past decade has seen an explosion of data and organisations of all kinds are harnessing the power within this data and using it to their competitive advantage. Even though they have data at their disposal, the charity sector is one sector that has not been able to really keep pace with the data science movement. They just do not have the resources, the awareness or the skills to make the most of the data on hand. Initiatives like Edgeflip and DataKind are just what these organisations have been waiting for.
I am sure there are many more such initiatives around the world; Data scientists, who volunteer their time to help charities improve health standards, save more lives and better manage their budgets. Our kudos to them all!
All you budding data scientists out there, we hope you will be inspired by such stories. As you climb the ladder of data success we hope you will endeavour to use your time and your data science and language of SAS skills to make the world a better place.
If this article interests you, you may find our blog post from 19 Sept, 2013 titled ‘Healthcare Analytics is Poised for Take Off in India. Will You Be Ready When They Come Calling? ’ a good read as well. This blog post talks about emerging analytics initiatives in the healthcare sector in India. For eg: how the Aarogyasri Health Care Trust (a Government initiative offering health insurance schemes to Below Poverty Line families for treating catastrophic illness) has partnered with SAS to leverage the claims, financial and clinical data they collect and to improve lead times, prevent fraud, recognize disease trends and forecast budgets and funds needed.