Using the power of data analytics and insights to unlock solutions to society’s most pressing challenges
Data science is being used to bring products and services to markets that are profoundly affecting our world. Yet, too many mission-driven organizations lack the know-how and tools to harness the power of data.
Talented data scientists want to help, yet many organizations are not equipped to integrate their expertise into their decision-making. Tools and data exist, but too often they’re not designed for non-profit and public sector needs. We have the building blocks—but to succeed at scale, we need to create better connections between data resources and those on the front lines of social impact. That’s where data.org comes in.
for individuals and families. That’s how much Benefits Data Trust has secured thousands of Americans each year, since 2005. Powered by data science to drive dignified service delivery, Benefits Data Trust helps Americans connect to essential benefits and services to help them reach financial stability.
Fueled by real-time data, Community Solutions have helped populous cities and counties like Montgomery County, MD, and Bergen County, NJ, bring veteran and chronic homelessness down to “functional zero,” where it’s rare and brief when it occurs.
We believe public goods are integral to strengthening the data science ecosystem, ensuring needed resources for the next generation of data scientists. We invest in targeted experiments, with high demonstration value. We build the capacity and leaders of critical organizations. And we aim to teach and promote sophisticated data science consumers and practitioners.
Data.org has identified three approaches to reach its mission:
Investing in use cases with high demonstration value
data.org works to support specific initiatives that leverage data science to improve the lives of people. data.org will invest in targeted experiments to advance the frontier of data science use in the social sector, ensuring best practices to donor communities and NGO’s are widely available, and that they catalyze investment.
Example investments include: Benefits Data Trust using data science to improve people’s access to public benefits; and Community Solutions using data driven approaches to reduce homelessness.
Building capacity among leaders and organizations
data.org will support a pipeline of initiatives and organizations seeking social outcomes that need the talent of dedicated data scientists to advance their work. data.org elevates social sector organizations’ capacity to utilize data science through trainings and talent-matching to reach their goals more quickly and at scale.
Example investments include: supporting DataKind to scale into the premier platform for meeting the data science needs of the social sector. In addition, data.org is working with university leadership across the globe to identify a common core curricula to define data science for social impact.
Public goods to strengthen the ecosystem
data.org believes that the field of data science has the potential and the responsibility to be aligned with tackling the most pressing challenges of our day. This will require public goods to help organizations learn; investment in new datasets and tools to unlock innovation in areas of high potential impact; and both campaigns and convenings to mobilize and change the behavior of funders, nonprofits, and technology companies to make the use of data science effective and pervasive in the social sector.
Example projects include the Universal Labelling Project to invest in training data for machine learning applications for high-social value; a public advocacy campaign to encourage technologists to work on pressing social issues; and convenings of funders and technology companies to develop a generalized scoping approach to create a pipeline of projects to support.
We are focused on building capacity, providing training resources and sharing publicly available data to realize the potential for data-driven insights to solve some of society’s biggest challenges.
joint, initial commitment over 5 years
to DataKind to connect a global cohort of data scientists
to Benefits Data Trust to connect the American people to public benefits and services
With data.org, we are building on a rich history of data and technology for social good led by the groundbreaking work of the ONE Campaign.
The original DATA.org launched in 2001 when a group of innovative social entrepreneurs, together with anti-poverty advocates and philanthropist and rockstar Bono committed to alleviating debt, AIDS, and trade inequalities in Africa. In what ultimately became the ONE Campaign, they galvanized support for poverty alleviation by focusing on data-driven, evidence-based approaches to development.
Inspired by their achievements, we partnered with the MasterCard Center for Inclusive Growth to jointly commit $50 million to relaunch data.org as a platform for partnerships to build the field of data science for social impact.