Fund for the City of New York

To launch DataKind, an organization to better connect data scientists with volunteer opportunities and encourage best data practices among nonprofits

  • Amount $731,554
  • City New York, NY
  • Investigator Jake Porway
  • Year 2012
  • Program Technology
  • Sub-program Data & Computational Research

A "data scientist" is someone who combines mathematical and statistical sophistication, the computational skills necessary to perform hands?on analysis of data at large scale, and the communication abilities to convey results meaningfully through visualizations and narrative. This combination of skills is still quite rare and highly in demand: an oft?cited McKinsey report published in 2011 estimates that the United States will need an additional 140,000 to 190,000 data scientists by 2018. Nonprofit organizations lag industry in the use of data scientists. Even when an organization sees how data science could improve their understanding of their clients or improve the efficacy of their work, they often lack the internal expertise and resources to take action. DataKind is a new organization founded to bridge exactly this gap. Inspired by the Teach for America model, Datakind aims to connect mission?driven organizations with designers, programmers, and statisticians from the burgeoning data science community who are looking for personally fulfilling opportunities to volunteer their time and expertise. Funds from this grant will provide two-years of pilot support to DataKind to provide a consistent revenue stream while it builds a client base of organizations and volunteers, develops a sustainable business model, and cultivates long-term funding sources.

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