With the influx of technological advancements, it is easy to get distracted and forget to help foster the society. Although we come with different work patterns, we are still unified with the desire to contribute to the community in some meaningful way. As with continually learning and growing in our career paths, we shall understand how to use our skills to think critically and creatively to solve real-world issues.
Data science often gets unnoticed with the big names like AI, machine learning, big data. However, with data science, there is a lot for us to do. It’s an evolving field with a lot of potential. There are always specific questions that come to our minds--- Data science, why? How can one possibly use data science and its multifaceted tools to solve real-world issues? How can data scientists benefit from this and help the rest of the world?
Some data scientists worry about social welfare and expect to use their findings to make this world a better place to live. Starting from progress in technology to massive activist efforts, the connection between data science and social good can be seen, in unexpected ways.
The critical role of data science for social good is undoubtedly being noticed. Data scientists have extensive knowledge in computer science, arithmetic, and statistics, which is quite visible in their expertise.
University Programs to Address Social Issues
Universities are coming forward with creative programs to train data scientists focus on social matters. A summer program at the University of Chicago, referred to as “The Data Science for Social Good Fellowship,” offers a curriculum that helps to address social issues with the help of data science. This course includes topics such as--- data mining, big data, and machine learning by partnering with companies to address the issues of the real-life.
NPO can Benefit from Data Science
Nonprofits and nonprofit government organizations are leverage benefits that data science has to offer. 90% of NPOs concentrate on gathering information to help accomplish their purpose and cater to society's needs.
For nonprofits to run at its utmost level, resources such as time, money, and products should be used wisely. Data science enables these organizations to determine effective and economical methods to offer those in need without running out of such valuable resources. Moreover, data science enables NPOs to apply more solid marketing techniques when looking for collaborations and sponsors built on an intense understanding of their clientele and their target market requirements.
One of the most well-known real-life instances displaying data science's potential can get viewed at Change.org website. Change.org is guided by information, informed people, and a digital community that takes actions to encourage equality and equal treatment by resolving social problems on a global scale.
These petitions have saved lives and changed laws. It was the campaign run by Change.org that concentrated on the need to reduce food waste in the States. With a vast number of supporters, the campaign was strong enough to promote a large company Whole Foods to join the battle against the food wastage.
Studies from the MIT Media Lab, Ginger.io is also guided by data to offer emotional support for its audience. This app observes the mental health on an individual level based on the user's smartphone activity. Hence, medical experts can understand their patients better and provide more suitable treatment.
Qlik has also shown its immense support to these NPOs by using data science for social welfare. The organization gives the information that helps NPOs make crucial decisions for their organization.
Along with this, Qlik is also known for collaborating with multiple agencies to pause the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. Qlik’s data visualization got boosted by combined data of numerous administrations and governments. They used the data visualization to understand the treatments most suitable for Ebola, develop alert systems for quicker response times, and distribute resources with more productivity.
Contribute via Competitions
Kaggle organizes many competitions to test your data science abilities. A few of these competitions concentrate on social issues.
DrivenData, a novel and socially-focused competition platform, collaborates with multiple organizations. These organizations are usually non-profit, immersed in challenging social issues with real-life impact.
Data scientists and developers can help solve these problems. Their solutions will be used by collaborated organizations so that they can carry out their tasks more effectively.
Be considerate in your professional job
Data science positions continue to spread throughout all the sectors, from the private to the public. There are plenty of chances to make a significant impact on your professional ventures. The private sector has companies that create creative solutions to more significant societal issues. For instance, healthcare and other science-based fields carry on to flourish quickly, with growth that is primarily driven by data and technologies. Deep learning and other such tools can help enhance things like health diagnostics or solutions to air pollution, which would have considerable consequences for population health.
One last thing to note is Bayes Impact and DataKind
DataKind is a data science company that is primarily focused on social good and provides multiple chances for volunteering, whether through coaching or using data science skills to resolve an issue in one of their DataCorps projects. This company also partners with many hosting companies, nonprofits, and hackathons.
Just like DataKind, Bayes Impact is also a socially-focused data science organization that leverages information to resolve real-world issues. The company collaborates with other nonprofits to solve problems regarding unemployment, health, and justice.
Data science is mostly known for scientific, statistical, and technological fields. However, only those who have studied this in deep, know that this industry also focuses on social welfare. Data scientists seem to have expertise in multiple sectors, and they collectively work on effective methods of affiliation to share data with the general population. Through partnership, we come to know how data science can be implemented to enhance how our world operates, thus showing us the real power of data science.