Benefits of Data Science for the Social Good



Social Care

Once the domain of business owners seeking insights into their customers; predictive analytics has evolved to include not only healthcare data, but social services as well. Data is changing and improving our lives and the services we use in any number of ways. The question “What if….” met with unbridled possibility. 

From Silicon Valley to the East Coast, it’s easy to imagine Data Scientists coming together to solve incredible problems. But, Nashville? It’s an unlikely hotbed of problem solvers offering degrees and jobs in the heartland.

Impact of Data Science in Social Services

Data is finding its niche in any number of unlikely places, not the least of which is addressing a social problem. In an effort to use analytics to help find solutions to society’s ills, the Data Science for Social Good (DSSG) matches recent data science graduates with data science fellows who dedicate three months to developing a solution to the problem. This includes, but is not limited to, aiding police in positive interactions with citizens, identify students in need, and helping to keep the mentally ill out of prison.

Working with nonprofits and local governments in areas as diverse as New York, Kansas and Sedosol, Mexico, data science fellows in 2016 showcased how their work was improving government services. They lead best practice workshops implementing machine learning and data-driven models at locations nationwide and beyond to improve social services. 

AIDING POLICE TO CREATE POSITIVE INTERACTIONS WITH CITIZENS

To help a police department in Nashville avoid adverse officer-citizen interactions, a team of DSSG fellows was brought in to determine best practices in allocating resources. Using past data from use of force incidents considered improper by the department as well as preventable accidents and injuries, and complaints leading to disciplinary action, these fellows develop a predictive model of behaviors. This would be used to help identify those at risk of adverse interaction with citizens.

By focusing on individual officer’s incident and complaint history combined with their characteristics, behavioral history, and work history the model helps identify high risk officers. These predictive analytics can also suggest individual intervention. Traditional blanket intervention usually involves two-thirds of the department for training. This DSSG model predictions found only five percent of Nashville officers were involved in adverse interactions.

IDENTIFIYING STUDENTS AT-RISK FOR INCARCERATION

In an effort to improve the lives of students in the Midwest, DSSG fellows developed a predictive model using education and criminal justice data. With this model, they hoped to identify students at risk for entering the juvenile justice system. The focus of the DSSG model flags less than half of the students at risk versus the traditional model.

In Tulsa, Oklahoma, the fellow’s model puts information into teacher’s hands as early as third grade. Using data from test scores, time students spent using educational software, and attendance at after-school programs, DSSG fellows built a predictive model to show teachers which students need the most help. This model ensures 95 percent of students identified receive the help they need and helps get the student on the right track.

As the movement spreads, it’s clear these data-driven efforts are widely accepted and desired. Currently offered at over 300 universities; opportunities to be part of data science for social good is growing. If you have a passion for data and analytics and want to be part of a unique opportunity, please take a look at our current vacancies or contact us to find out more. We specialize in Data and Analytics recruitment and always have a wide range of vacancies at both the junior and senior level.

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Big Data and Analytics Insight into Employee Potential

In less than ten days, Silicon Valley’s Santa Clara Convention Center will be filled with speakers, panelists, and thought leaders from around the globe at the AI & Big Data Expo North America. Topics from the future of enterprise to spotting potential top talent, and everything in between will be covered.    But how important is it for the future of enterprise to be driven by not only digital transformation leaders, but also a solid data team?   Today’s data team must be a mix of the highly technically skilled and the soft-skill savvy, crossing what were once siloed departments across an organization. How do you spot top talent potential in your in-house team? What about those who perform better in person than on paper? What if you could see at a glance the possibilities of an employee’s performance?   Big Data Offers Instant Insight on How to Spot Top Talent   Digital transformation leaders and business executives have more detailed employee information at their fingertips than ever before. By combining people data with accurate algorithms using human capital management tools, organizations are armed with a robust picture of top talent. This offers instant insight into an employee’s potential. Estimation and guess work are a thing of the past, and armed with this type of information, organizations can put into motion succession plans, decide professional development opportunities, and future compensation as well as invest in their top talent for maximum potential.   But, before you can develop high-potential employees, you need to find them. This can be one of the most difficult challenges. Then, once you find and prime your potential leaders, how do you retain them? Having a strategic, proactive approach is an excellent first step towards a successful strategy, and may include some or all of the following:   Creating continuous learning opportunities.   Conducting a pulse check. How are they feeling about the company? Their role? Responsibilities? Like the nuanced role which combines savvy soft skills with highly advanced technical skills, cognitive assessments using NLP can offer instant insights. But, it’s important to conduct in-person pulse check interviews as well, if possible.  Offering mentoring or coaching opportunities.  It’s also important to note, a diverse data team with a variety of backgrounds, can add more perspectives for more innovative solutions in business.   The Competitive Advantage of Effective Data Analytics   Data surrounds us, and in our data-driven world, it’s important for business leaders to understand the impact of Big Data and Analytics when it comes to finding, developing, and planning for top talent. As much as we need to know where and how to find top performers, we need to identify our current potential talent, to support their growth, or risk losing them.   Current performance is only one way to gauge talent and isn’t always a good indicator of future potential. In fact, not having all the facts and relying on instinct could prove to be a liability. In other words, high-performing employees may not have high potential, but high potential candidates may stand out in different ways. Knowing the difference can save time, money, and resource. Losing a high-potential employee can cost over three times their salary, as well as their deep institutional knowledge. Like customer behavior insights gleaned from data, effective Data Analytics can give companies a big advantage over their competitors.    If you’re interested in Big Data and Analytics, we may have a role for you. We specialize in junior and senior roles.    If you’re attending the Big Data and AI Expo in Silicon Valley, November 28 and 29, stop by our booth and say “Hi”. We look forward to meeting you and can discuss opportunities on the spot. If you can’t make it, you can check out our current vacancies or contact one of our recruitment consultants to learn more.   For our West Coast Team, call (415) 614 4999 or send an email to sanfraninfo@harnham.com.    For our Mid-West and East Coast Teams, call (212) 796 6070 or send an email to newyorkinfo@harnham.com.

What Does the Future Hold for AI and Big Data in Enterprise?

Smart phone. Smart home. Business Intelligence. Artificial Intelligence. Each designed to improve our live. These smart devices know our favorite music, our favorite movies, the just right temperature for the house, and when we’re away, we can watch it all from our mobile phone. Elements of the four work together for convenience and peace of mind.  But, what about your business? What does the future hold for AI and Big Data when it comes to enterprise? As we round out 2018, and look to the new year, the Santa Clara Convention Center, Silicon Valley will be abuzz for two-days at the end of this month with its AI & Big Data Expo North America. Industry leaders will come together to deliver AI and Big Data for a smarter future.  A More Centralized Systems Focus We know Business Intelligence (BI), Customer Intelligence (CI), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and more. But, what about a more overarching turn of phrase for enterprise as a whole? The intelligent enterprise.  Imagine advanced analytics, intelligence applications, and machine learning seamlessly connected via the cloud for more flexible decision making based on data flow into business systems.  To do this, your business needs a strong data foundation and centralized team from all departments for an at-a-glance dashboard view of your business and its needs. Having the right data coupled with the right computing capabilities offers single view information at each customer touchpoint. Once siloed positions now molded into one unit with the right information can help you make better decisions, faster. AI Application Expectations for 2019 We’ve come a long way from the days of the Jetsons, in which AI is simply a robot programmed to do mundane tasks. Today, and looking toward the future, we’re in a real-time world closer to that of Bicentennial Man. In fact, much like our personal devices are extensions of ourselves, businesses are beginning to see AI as extensions of their business, contributing to their success.  AI is continuously evolving, and 2019 will be no different. As companies embrace and work to enhance machine and human relationships, we’ll begin to see and understand AI’s limitations, and when and how human interaction may be needed. Though evolution of AI is expected to triple in the new year, many businesses currently using its applications for mission-critical processes will grow more confidence in new technologies.  Businesses once on the sidelines will grow into their roles as digital leaders, advancing their industry, and while 16 percent of a recent survey said they are currently applying automation and AI to one or more mission-critical business processes, more than three times the amount are expect to do so by 2019.   We’ve barely scratched the surface with what we know will be a jam-packed agenda November 28 and 29 in Silicon Valley. We’ll be at the Expo and hope to see you there. Stop by, say hello, and if you’re interested in Big Data, analytics, and the future of business, we may have a role for you. If you’re a business seeking to grow your Data team, we’re available to guide you to hire and retain top talent. We specialize in junior and senior roles.  Check out our current vacancies or contact one of our recruitment consultants to learn more.   For our West Coast Team, call (415) 614 4999 or send an email to sanfraninfo@harnham.com.  For our Mid-West and East Coast Teams, call (212) 796 6070 or send an email to newyorkinfo@harnham.com.

Did the Data Get it Right? The 2018 US Mid-term Elections

Over the past few weeks, every lawn, street corner, email, and blog post touted the mantra to get out and vote. The 2018 US mid-term elections drew more attention than ever, and data has its stamp on every element.  With the Democrats taking the House, and the GOP increasing their hold on the Senate, both parties have claimed victory. But did things go as expected? For the details without the drama, it all comes down to what the data says. What History Says Voter registration, census taking, and good old-fashioned grass roots efforts across the country have fed information into the system. So, what did the numbers say? Let’s see what one of the most well-known poll tracking systems thought. Data collected since the 1934 elections, according to the American Presidency Project at UC Santa Barbara, provides historical information on seat swings and seats defended in both the House and the Senate. Though approval ratings factor in, data is collected in aggregate, and takes no account of candidates, issues, or political conditions. This is the closest information may get to being truly nonpartisan. Outside of this aggregation, two familiar factors also play a part, public assessment of the incumbent and the number of seats in Congress controlled by the President’s party. Though no matter which party the president favors, it has been historically proven, that their party loses seats and the opposite party gains seats. However, lower approval ratings usually mean more seats lost and the opposite party’s gain.  Predictions for 2018 were generally accurate regarding the number of flipped seats, although Republican Senate gains did buck the trend.  A Grass Roots Dive into House Races Across the US Though results are often based on the sitting president’s impact on midterm elections, and the state of the national economy, it’s important to note that control ultimately depends on voters. In today’s midterm climate, grassroots efforts in over 400 districts, have taken shape and were key to the midterm results. These key areas are shaped by five geographic regions collapsed into three “super regions”: The West/East Coast Alliance The New South/Heartland Alliance The Blue-collar Midwest Within these regions, four key indicators, which over the years have been the general consensus of where data might find its answers, also pointed in the direction we saw.  Key indicators prior to the 2018 midterm election included: Presidential approval rating Congress' approval rating Citizen’s satisfaction with the state of the union Current economic conditions All four indicators have strong statistical relationships with seat change for the president's party, such that when the indicators are worse, the president's party loses more seats. It may be the first and last of these that had the greatest impact in 2018, with a controversial President who leads a strong economy defining the campaign trail.  As the next few weeks unfold, analysts will continue to look at the data, determining what it might mean for the 2020 Presidential election. However, with mixed results, the events of the next two years may still have a dramatic effect on what to expect.  Predictive Analytics, Big Data, and Digital Analytics define the world, whether predicting elections or improving a business’ goals for the coming year. If data gets your vote, we may have a role for you. We specialize in junior and senior roles. Check out our current vacancies or contact one of our recruitment consultants to learn more.   For our West Coast Team, call (415) 614 4999 or send an email to sanfraninfo@harnham.com.  For our Mid-West and East Coast Teams, call (212) 796 6070 or send an email to newyorkinfo@harnham.com.

Who You Know Meets What You Know With Insight Marketing

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it,” quipped Ferris Bueller in the 1986 classic film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Today, over thirty years later, fast barely scratches the surface. Companies such as Netflix, Uber, AirBnB, and Google have redefined markets, and strongly influence how we travel, explore, shop, and communicate.  Using predictive modeling, behavioral analysis, and advanced analytics tools, these companies, and others like them can learn and disseminate insights into consumer behavior and respond as needed. Yes, life does move pretty fast in the digital age. Yet, as much as we’re connected online, we still need to connect in person from time to time. It’s this integration which is driving tomorrow’s marketing strategies and recruitment efforts. After all, what is job searching, but marketing yourself? And to that end, what is marketing, but expert presentation? As we round out the year and look to the next, let’s take a look at what 2019 has in store: Be Human With the rise of AI, machine learning, and automation, it can feel as though we’ve crossed a threshold into another world. But, we are still human and so want to interact as humans. People put their trust in brands they know and respect. Ultimately, they want and need helpful and relevant information that they can connect with. Be Helpful and Authentic Trolls disband. Consumers and candidates look to their peers, editorial sites, and reviews to make more informed decisions. Think Glassdoor and Yelp and add a personal touch. By building and maintaining relationships, whilst offering help whenever possible, brands can earn more consumer trust. If You’re Job Searching, Consider this: Virtual Reality (VR) and video submissions are starting to be used to assess candidate hard and soft skills. In the video, how you present yourself, act, and speak will weigh just as heavily as how well you perform tasks. Tell Your Story Every individual – candidate or consumer - is more than the paper they’re written on or the video in which they’re seen; there is a story behind who we are and how we got to this place. Hiring managers want to hear candidate’s stories. Both humans and ATS are able to sense personality through story. Marketers have been and will continue to tell stories about their products to build rapport and create an emotional connection to a brand. Both offer insights into the individual. Creativity, not Conformity is Key Find new ways to engage your audience. Consider integrated campaigns and get creative. What are your competitors doing? What could you do differently to stand out? Leverage Your Online Tools Today’s world is integrated and proactive. Use the internet and the tools it provides to leverage your brand such as your website, portfolios, and social media.  The way to communicate with candidates and consumers may have changed, but the necessity to do so hasn’t.  We want to hear from you.  If you’re interested in data and analytics, we may have a role for you. Check out our current vacancies or contact one of our recruitment consultants to learn more.   For our West Coast Team, call (415) 614 4999 or send an email to sanfraninfo@harnham.com.  For our Mid-West and East Coast Teams, call (212) 796 6070 or send an email to newyorkinfo@harnham.com.

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