Empowering Communities Through Data
Data For Good is a collective of data scientists, programmers, engineers, and data enthusiasts, aimed at using their skills and talents for good—to help make communities better through data and empower change makers to realize their goals for a better society. We do this by helping other not-for-profit and non-governmental organizations harness the latent potential within their data and unlock insights enabling them to make informed decisions in service of their respective mandates and missions.
Who we are
The team in Vancouver is led by Peter Kim and a host of other volunteers committed to making an impact through data on the west coast. We are a community of data professionals who provide pro bono data analytics services to registered charities, non-governmental and not-for-profit organizations. Our aim is to unlock the hidden insights within your data assets that can support your strategic planning activities and improve operational efficiency.
How we can help
Many non-profit organizations collect data from a variety of sources during the normal course of operations, including details on funding, campaigns, resource allocation, and the clients they serve. Over time such systems accrue vast amounts of data that can support the organization’s strategic decision making.
In-house data can be combined with external data from open sources such as a census, and economic data from government repositories like Statistics Canada. On past engagements, clients have been interested in, for example:
- understanding how to better target their donor base;
- analyzing their volunteers and where best to engage them; and
- optimizing the locations of food banks.
The output of our analysis is made up primarily of different types of visualizations. We use several types of tools ranging from Excel and Tableau for creating charts and dashboards, to more sophisticated statistical software packages like R and Python for regression and time series analysis.
Data for Good can assist in a variety of ways depending on your needs. The engagement begins with a consultation with the Data Ambassador (the contact for the project) in order to assess how we can best add value and the feasibility of the engagement.
It is worth noting that you do not need to have any specific business questions in mind at the time of the engagement. Data for Good is often brought in for an undirected general exploration of trends and other interesting correlations that exist within the data. Usually this will then guide further analysis by prompting interest in drilling down deeper into specific subjects. Regular checkpoints with the client ensure that the “wheat” remains separated from the “chaff”.
Peter Kim is a former data journalist currently working in Communications for a human rights legal advocacy organization in Vancouver, British Columbia. He is passionate and committed to social justice and the ways in which data can be used to empower and inform social movements.
A sample of some of the organizations we’ve helped in the past.
Want to be part of the fun? You don’t need to be a data scientist or a PHD, there’s lots of ways that you can get involved with Data for Good.