Nonprofits and other social change organizations are lagging their counterparts in the scientific and business communities in collecting and analyzing the vast amounts of data that are being generated by digital technology. Four steps need to be taken to improve the use of big data for social innovation.
Kena Fedorschak, Srivatsav Kandala, Rashmi Krishnamurthy, and I have a paper accepted at the Ninth International Conference on Design Science Research in Information Systems and Technology. The paper, Data Analytics and Human Trafficking, highlights our efforts toward building IT solutions to combat human trafficking at the ASU Decision Theater.
Human trafficking is recognized internationally as an extreme form of violence against women, children, and men. Despite the fact that human trafficking is universally understood to be a burgeoning social problem, a paucity of data and insight into this issue exists. Data analytics has immense potential to elucidate trends in complex social data and inform future policy. We undertook a design science-inspired research approach to build datasets on human trafficking. Three prototypes are presented that describe the methodologies of human traffickers, display correlations between calls reporting suspected trafficking activity and various demographic data, and explicate the effectiveness of US anti-trafficking funding projects.
I will be speaking on Big Data at the Technological Innovation in Government: Toward Open and Smart Government Symposium organized by the Section for Science & Technology in Government of the American Society for Public Administration. Other speakers at the event include Jane Fountain (UMass), Elizabeth Bruce (MIT), Chris Osgood (Office of New Urban Mechanics, City of Boston), and Bill Oates (CIO, Commonwealth of Massachusetts), among others. For more information on the event, please click here.
For a second year in a row, I have been fortunate to receive a grant from the IBM Center for the Business of Government.
Project: Building Analytical Capabilities for Big Data in the Public Sector: From Paralysis to Analysis
The goal of this project is to arrive at an actionable framework for federal agencies to navigate the 'big' data management challenge. We will interview Chief Information Officers (CIOs) who are leading 'big' data projects at federal, state, and local agencies to understand the challenges they face and their attempts to navigate opportunities provided by 'big' and 'open' data. We will administer a survey to measures technical, processes, people, and organizational factors that impact an agency's readiness and experience with big data management. An actionable framework will be developed that outlines how public agencies should proceed to create a roadmap towards devising analytical capabilities for big data management.
To learn more about my prior project on Challenge.gov, please click here.