Data Currency, Data Science for Charities, Data Tools, Data as Code and Data Privacy #DataDigest
This week read about how data science is helping charities, a new data visualization tool, donor data privacy, the similairities between data and code as well as how data has become the new currency.
Nonprofits and Data
In this Gigaom post by Derrick Harris the need to go beyond voluntary data efforts to meaningful, integrated and sustained data efforts in nonprofit operations is discussed. He explains why investment in people and technology is important to realise this and offers Rayid Ghani’s new startup Edgeflip as a good example of this. He says that nonprofits should utilise more data science and which would also be welcomed by donors. Sharing data among nonprofits that work on solving the same issues is also identified as one way of closing the data gap. He likens such a “data fabric” to Facebook and suggests that large foundations can help to support this.
Data Visualization Tools
A new web tool called Raw has been developed that helps the public create advanced data visualizations in just a few minutes. Data from a table is pasted in, the preferred type of visualisation is chosen and then chosen variables are analyze by dragging them into predefined mapping categories. The visualisation can be downloaded as a vector, PNG or JSON files.
In this Directions Magazine article, Ben Balter suggests that today open data is at the same position open source was two decades ago and explains how he thinks the open data community could develop even more quickly. For instance, he suggests that every time a government agency posts a dataset, rather than posting the data as a zip file or to a proprietary data portal, the data should be treated as open source and in the same respectful way that geeks treat their code.
In this post by Deloitte University Press the role that government can playing in establishing data as a currency is explored. These include: data economy producer, consumer, and facilitator. The marketplace for data as a currency is also examined through 4 key roles which are: open data providers, data aggregators, data for service and data protectors. Many examples of new businesses and organisational initiatives premised on data as a new currency are provided.
Data and Privacy
This Nonprofit Times post talks about how NSA revelations has highlighted the need for nonprofits to have better rules around the collection, use, security and disclosure of personal information. Limiting the data obtained to what is needed, restricting the uses and disclosures of the data and keeping that data secure and confidentiality are suggested as ways to achieve this. In addition, transparency around data use is seen as key for helping nonprofits retain trust.