Data Without Borders
This week we have seen a great deal of buzz about Data Without Borders, a new project conceived by Jake Porway, a talented data scientist and member of the celebrated New York Times Research & Development team.
Data Without Borders aims to establish a ‘data scientist exchange’, connecting up the expert community of visualisation and analytical practitioners with non-profit and NGO organisations, typically custodians of the most important social, environmental and community data and problem contexts.
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.
Working on a freelance and pro-bono basis, data scientists will be able to help these organisations with data collection, analysis, visualisation and other related challenges to draw out key insights about important subjects.
Despite having only been launched earlier this week, it has already caught the attention and imagination of the visualisation community. Whilst I’m sure its not the first time this concept will have been kicked about as an idea, Jake’s prominence in the field, the word of mouth influence of some key followers, positive and widespread coverage (such as this article in the Guardian yesterday) and the growth and maturity of the visualisation field have proven very effective at getting the word out.
Its clearly very early days so keep a close eye on developments, which are sure to be fairly rapid given the high interest shown. You can either sign up for the e-mail list or follow the Twitter (@DataNoBorders) and Facebook accounts for updates.