Many of you in the U.S. are celebrating Thanksgiving this week, and if you are in a global organization, perhaps happier for a quieter work week. For me, with and English husband, my in-laws have fallen in love with this holiday. So I have a houseful. It is one of my favorite holidays and an important time to reflect on what we are thankful for in work and in life.
In the data and analytics world, I am thankful to see so much momentum as it relates to the data for good movement. Since we published our data for good note in July, here are just a few of the new stories and organizations that are part of this movement.
- While at our Brazil Symposium, I heard from Smart Labs with solid progress rescuing people from slave labor.
- Data Orchard in the UK has moved from a few projects and meet ups to a full day national conference in November.
- The World Bank is crowd sourcing the use of machine learning to predict and address poverty
- Cornell received $1M university grant on machine learning and big data to fight hunger
- Melbourne, Australia is using sensors in garbage (rubbish) bins to reduce wasted and CO2 emissions.
Analytic and BI vendors have continued their commitment in this space:
- Google launched Google Data Solutions for Change where nonprofits receive software and services for free for up to 6 months, $5k a month, as well as a data for good competition for college students.
- Graph database vendor Neo4J shared their Graphs4Good program with inspiring stories, but it’s unclear what product, expertise or funds they are providing.
- Looker has pledged 1% of product to Data for Good Initiatives.
- Tableau announced funding an additional $100 million to data for good programs through its foundation, over the next 7 years.
So lots of good work here, and I am happy to see increased awareness of how data and AI can be used to improve society. But I think we all need to think about how to move these from isolated projects to products to policy and impact. (If I missed any key ones, let me know! and use the hashtag #data4good))
As always, I’m thankful for the clients that give meaning to my work, my colleagues that keep it all fun and share the burden, and my family that puts up with my schedule and random dinner table conversations: “Name an important woman in tech! … correlation doesn’t mean causation! … how much data does one sensor in a football helmet generate?” We shall soon be peeling 15 pounds of potatoes and baking all things pumpkin (and stuffing … and 3 batches of gravy, I promise!)
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