Monday, October 24, 2011

Share Your Wealth of Data Knowledge

Do you have mad skillz when it comes to Excel, SPSS, or other data tools? Know a regression from a box plot? Are you anal retentive when it comes to cleaning and organizing data sets?

Then you should consider becoming a volunteer for Data Without Borders. From their site:
Data Without Borders seeks to match non-profits in need of data analysis with freelance and pro bono data scientists who can work to help them with data collection, analysis, visualization, or decision support. Big companies like Google and Amazon recognize the importance of dedicated data science teams and can support fulltime analysts, but non-profits, though they may have rich and interesting datasets, don’t have the resources to capitalize on their data or may not even know the value of the data they already collect. Data Without Borders aims to close that gap through a data scientist exchange, bringing exciting new problems to the data community and helping to solve social, environmental, and community problems alongside nonprofits and NGOs.

They have a Datadive coming up in San Francisco early in November. I watched the NYC Datadive recently, and was both fascinated and deeply heartened by the work that weekend. You can check out the project wiki here. It provides you with links to each of the presentations by the NGOs/non-profits, as well as project pages where you can get an idea of the scope of the work that was completed 48 hours later.

Data Without Borders has many different options for volunteers. So, if you're not into coding, don't know a bar graph from a pie chart, or are prone to fainting at the sight of a normal distribution, fear not. There are still opportunities for you to support others in this work.

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