Data Science for the Greater Good

by Datalytic Solutions on February 4, 2018
Data Science for the Greater Good

How do we improve our cities and communities? How can we make them safer for our children and help create a better future? Whether you are a tax-paying citizen, an elected official, or a government employee, chances are questions like these have crossed your mind. Given the complex nature of our modern society, finding answers to these important questions is a daunting task. Luckily, there exists a largely untapped resource: data.

Finding the Data

Almost everything you do in public creates a data point. Drive your car and get caught at a red light? Data point. Visit the MVD to renew your license? Data point. Make a call to a city office? Data point. All of these data points can be used to detect trends and discover hidden relationships. You may be skeptical, but consider these two examples:

FICO Credit Score: There was a time when banks were allowed to make subjective decisions about who was approved (or not) for loans. This process was often unfair, even racist. We now have the FICO credit score. This credit score is an objective method that uses data points created by past behavior to determine your likelihood of paying back a loan, rather than your zip code, race, or social status.

Child Protective Services: Allegheny County, PA, became the first jurisdiction to let a predictive analytics algorithm help the Department of Children, Youth, and Families identify children in dangerous family situations. Although the final determination is up to human judgment, the algorithm helps determine which calls the agency should investigate.

When used correctly, these data points lead to valuable insights that can help lawmakers make vital decisions about our communities.

Data Science Use Cases

There are a variety of ways data science can help improve our communities and prepare for a better future. Have a look:

Traffic: A vast array of sensors helps governments monitor traffic with greater detail than ever before. This data helps determine where improvements to roads and highways should be made to reduce congestion.

Criminal Justice System: Judges around the US are using a tool developed by the Arnold Foundation to determine which arrestees should be released on bail before trial based on their estimated risk to society.

Emergency Services: Data helps police and fire departments know when and where to use their resources to be more efficient and effective.

Linking Records: With differing levels of data quality, not all records in the public sector are linked correctly. Thus, users receive incomplete information when they make queries, and poor decisions result. Using data science helps identify the records that should be connected and ensures users obtain the correct information from the database.

Disaster Relief: Data science helps predict the next disaster and expedites insurance payments after disaster strikes.

Datalytic Solutions is Your Solution

Fortunately, Datalytic Solutions has spent years developing tools and techniques to do the types of analyses listed above. We have the knowledge, experience, and expertise to turn the millions of data points generated every day into insights that will help lead the cities and communities we care about to a prosperous future.