DataDives are high energy, marathon-style, 48-hour events where nonprofits work alongside teams of data scientists, developers and designers to use data to gain insight into their programs, address key problems in the communities they serve and advance their missions. These inspiring community events welcome 50-150 data scientists and technologists to collaborate and together analyze and visualize data sets to provide partner organizations initial insights or prototypes to inform their work and create real world change.

Using data for good

Software, sensors and mobile phones produce a goldmine of data. Today, most companies are working closely with data scientists to get the most out of this data to better serve their customers. Datakind works with non-profits to uncover the power of data science and predictive analytics for their mission-driven organizations. Through a DataDive or two-day hackathon-style event, Datakind brings together volunteer data scientists and social change organizations to solve key problems in their communities.

A group of ‘Data Ambassadors’ or experienced volunteers work closely with the nonprofits during the six weeks leading up to DataDive to identify the most salient data questions, and to prepare or ‘clean’ the datasets for the DataDive. Participating in a DataDive serves as a unique opportunity for volunteers to learn and test out new skill sets, build cross-industry connections, and utilize their data science talents to produce actionable, meaningful results for mission-driven organizations.

The latest DataDive took place in July 2019, hosted by the Elsevier office in London. We also collaborated on a DataDive in London in November 2018, as well as in New York in July 2018 (here and here) and in London in November 2017 (here and here).

Machine Learning and Disaster Risk Management

In 2018, DataKind and the Elsevier Foundation have partnered on a DataCorps Disaster Relief project with the World Bank’s Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) in support of the Sustainable Development Goals. The project analyzed high-resolution satellite imagery to create a scalable algorithm to distinguish among different building structures in order to identify rural areas susceptible to large-scale natural disasters. It aims to aid disaster risk reduction and recovery efforts in various developing countries.

The project was inspired by a one that DataKind previously piloted in rural Kenya and Uganda. Here, DataKind was able to develop a deep learning algorithm using satellite imagery to identify thatch and metal roofed homes as a way to determine which villages were most in need, given that metal roofed homes tend to signal higher household incomes. While the algorithm ultimately was not implemented, the project demonstrates the potential for nontraditional data sources like satellite imagery and cutting edge techniques like machine learning to help fuel the work of social change organizations by helping them automate time-consuming processes, understand the communities they serve and ultimately reach more people in need.

Read about the partnership:

#DataDive London: changing the world one data scientist at a time

DataKind and the Elsevier Foundation partner to bring hackers and coders together with UK charities for a 48-hour hackathon Nelly ...
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Summer DataDive 2019

DataDives are high energy, marathon-style, 48-hour events where nonprofits work alongside teams of data scientists, developers and designers to use ...
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How Elsevier is helping charities use data for good

Data is a powerful resource, and for many years now Elsevier has used it to deliver insights and support policy ...
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#DataDive in action: how can data scientists help nonprofits change the world?

The Elsevier Foundation partners with DataKind in a 48-hour hackathon, working with coders and developers to help UK charities unlock ...
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Discovering the Art of the Possible for Machine Learning and Disaster Risk Management

When a natural disaster strikes, knowing where people and buildings are is of the utmost importance for saving lives. The World ...
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You too can be a sexy data unicorn — and other lessons from my first DataDive

Here are 5 surprising things I learned while covering a DataDive hackathon at Google's NYC headquarters That was me with ...
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#DataDive NYC: Follow the volunteer data scientists, statisticians, coders and hackers as they build solutions for human rights

At Google HQ in New York, Elsevier's technologists and data scientists are joining colleagues from Google Cloud, Teradata and 11th ...
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New in disaster science: using machine learning and maps to see who’s vulnerable

DataKind partners with World Bank to help developing countries reduce their vulnerability to natural hazards and climate changeNatural disasters are ...
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How data scientists are tackling hunger and social change

You can’t feed the world with data – or can you? For an organization like FareShare, data can be a vital ...
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#DataDive UK: Follow data scientists and developers in a hackathon for charities

Elsevier Foundation joins DataKind, ONE Campaign, FareShare and Christian Aid to use data for tackling poverty and justice, climate change ...
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