big data for social good

In almost every industry these days, big data is one of the most critical components of progress and growth. This is true of big business, like Amazon, but did you know that it’s also possible to use big data for social good?

Today we will examine a few social service applications that prove big data is for more than just the fortune five hundred companies of the world. Read on for a list of ways that big data can be used for social betterment.

 

How Data Can Improve Nonprofit Performance

The world of non-profit is benefitting immensely from the use of big data. The fact of the matter is that non profits benefit internally from big data collection the same way that the big companies do.

The collection and analyses of data allows for several things to happen in the world of the non-profit. First, the organization is able to analyze the performance of their company and their staff (limited though it probably is) in the present tense.

Once they understand what performance goals they are meeting and where they are underachieving, it becomes much easier to make plans for future productivity and further refine projections.

What comes out of this is an improved capacity for performance management, i.e company leaderships ability to set unique goals with each of their employees in order to get the very most out of their time at work.

Through data analyses, not only can you see what areas in performance management need improvement, but you can also subsequently monitor your non-profit staff’s ability to meet those improvements through further analyses once an intervention plan has been implemented.

This strategy also helps to identify housekeeping needs, such as whether or not your staff, or even an individual member of your staff, would be benefited by additional training or resources.

Do keep in mind, of course, that data, perhaps especially performance data, is highly subject to change. In order to really make the most of this resource at your non-profit, you will need to make data analyses a continuous effort.

 

Big Data for Social Good: Enhancing Public Health

big data for social good

Big data is also now a critical component of the world of health. As a business, or rather, an avenue for business, the world of healthcare does benefit from big data in the same performance and management optimization ways that other companies do.

However, the most important effect that big data is having in the world directly relates to using big data for social good: improving healthcare services and prepare healthcare organizations and providers to meet the needs of the individual communities that they operate within.

Big data is being implemented now by patients as well as providers. Health apps that track heartrate, steps, and workout intensities serve to radically improve individual understanding of how well they are meeting their own health and fitness goals.

Perhaps in the future, this data will be shared with and implemented by physicians as well.

But there is more to big data in health than simply what you can learn from wearing a Fitbit. The medical industry is now able to use big data for prevention by analyzing a patient’s history, their family history, and the factors of their unique lifestyle in order to implement informed plans of treatment and overall health improvement.

Of course, this data has already existed for about as long as contemporary healthcare practices have. But the digital age allows for new opportunities.

Whereas before, patient data was archived, and potentially inaccessible to the physician attending to their care, there are now increasing efforts to consolidate this information digitally for more comprehensive and informed healthcare wherever the patient goes.

 

References

Forbes

Rutgers University’s online Master of Public Administration

Social Work Today

University of Nevada, Reno online Master of Social Work