Bloomberg's Data Initiative: Big Data for Social Good in 2018

By: Randy Bean
Jan 9, 2018 10:40 AM ET

Originally published by Forbes

Big data has become ubiquitous in recent years.  Whether it is data-driven marketing, sports analytics, political campaigns, or national security threats, data has become central to any type of informed analysis and plan of action.  Consequently, the arrival of Big data has also spawned a data industry and the emergence of data professions – data analysts, data architects, data scientists, and chief data officers.  Against this backdrop, governmental and social service organizations are following suit and initiating efforts to apply sound data practices to a range of societal challenges.  These can range from matching scarce resources to acute needs, detecting disparities in social justice administration, or the establishment of policies for ethical data usage.  Here are some of the initiatives that are being undertaken to advance data for social good as we look ahead for 2018: 

Bloomberg’s Data for Good Exchange 

The Bloomberg Data for Good Exchange was launched in 2015 to encourage and promote the use of data science and human capital to solve problems at the core of society.  Each year, the program focuses on themes pertaining to how data science can play a role in helping drive change in the delivery of public services, city operations, public health, climate resilience and the environment, criminal justice and other areas of public concern.  Over 1,000 data scientists, thought leaders, and public policymakers gather at Bloomberg's Global Headquarters in New York City for a day of discussion.  The program committee for the 2017 program considered over 170 proposals for papers, panels, and presentations.

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