TA 2. Innovations and synergies across different data ecosystems

(TA2.12) Data Mashups: Catapulting from Measurement to Problem Solving


Ajman Stat Hall October 24, 2018 3:00 pm - 4:15 pm

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Richard Crespin
Barbara Seligman
Samir KC
James Devine


Data science has enabled private sector organizations to become more efficient, more effective, more targeted, and more thorough in their missions. And now governments have the opportunity to do the same. But it’s not enough to just have the data. Leveraging new data in a way that has a real impact on global challenges requires an understanding of the why and the how. Why are we blending traditional and non-traditional datasets? How can we use sophisticated analysis to get new insights? How can we communicate these new insights through compelling stories that inspire our governments and communities to act?

This session will explore the full lifecycle of data for governments to grasp as they tackle societal challenges, especially those laid out in the SDGs. Our dynamic speakers will start the session by sharing case studies of how their organizations have worked in collaboration with partners to leap from a data source to solving a problem to telling a story. Examples include:

  • Digital Data System for Development in Nepal’s work to combine NASA earth observation and geospatial data with disaggregated census data in Nepal for policy and decision-making
  • The Data Science for Social Good Marketplace, which serves as an online marketplace for volunteer data science work. As one example, the Audubon Society used the Marketplace to track bird movements through phone data and identify how weather patterns affect animal migrations.
  • A crowdsourcing challenge run by DrivenData to help improve public health inspections of Boston restaurants by combining the City of Boston’s open health inspections data with corresponding Yelp reviews.
  • The Population Reference Bureau’s work since 1929 to synthesize, translate, package, and communicate public data and research to make it compelling and useful for governments.
  • CollaborateUp’s work on building a coalition to count children who live outside of parental care and ensure they are not left behind by their societies. CollaborateUp will also share its toolkit of resources and best practices for starting, managing, and scaling cross-sector collaborations.

The session will then identify SDG-related challenges with specific relevance to National Statistical Offices (NSOs) and conclude with a brief interactive role play to help participants think through the full lifecycle of data for a specific challenge within the SDGs. In small groups at their tables, they’ll take on the perspective of an NSO and come up with a plan to engage new partners, integrate non-traditional data sources, and communicate outcomes in a way that resonates with the local community.