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HBX Business Blog

The Power of Data: Driving Social Change

Posted by Jonathan Williams on February 2, 2016 at 2:32 PM


Data is reshaping how problems are defined and how solutions are developed to address pressing social issues. With the evolution of data-collecting technologies and the ability to apply analytic methods in new areas, unique insights are advancing the common good through data.

These four initiatives use data analytics to bring about positive social impact:

Eliminating Medical Prescription Errors

MedAware uses analytics to search for unusual patterns in medical prescription and diagnosis data that would signal a prescription error. By searching for outliers, MedAware could potentially save lives while also reducing the medical costs associated with prescription errors.

Ensuring Equitable Working Conditions

Laborlink, powered by Good World Solutions, collects data from international factory workers using mobile phone technology. Empowering workers to report their working conditions, Laborlink collects real-time data about wages, safety, and worker satisfaction. Not only are companies better informed with Laborlink, but they can alter their practices based on this new source of data.

Saving Lives with Targeted Campaigns

DataKind, a community of data scientists and organizations, worked with data from the American Red Cross to identify counties in the US that would benefit from smoke alarm installation campaigns. The team’s work combined Red Cross data with other data sets to develop targeted recommendations for delivering the Red Cross program.

Driving Governmental Progress

In HBX’s home city of Boston, local officials are using data to drive government progress. From the data dashboard that hangs in the mayor’s office displaying critical citywide data, to monitoring the city’s trashcans to ensure timely collection, data is helping to build a stronger Boston.

Interested in learning more about data analytics as well as economics and finance?

Learn more about HBX CORe


About the Author

Jonathan is a member of the HBX Course Delivery Team and works on the Business Analytics course for the Credential of Readiness (CORe) program. He has a background in mathematics, statistics, and design.

Topics: HBX CORe, HBX Courses, HBX Insights