SAS is proud to be part of the Data for Good movement, which encourages using data in meaningful ways to solve humanitarian issues around poverty, health, human rights, education and the environment. From preventing life-threatening illnesses to protecting endangered species to rebuilding after natural disasters, organizations across the globe are harnessing data to make a difference. Applying data for social good has led to new and creative ways to address global issues, and we’ve gathered a few of these stories here.
WildTrack identifies and monitors endangered species by analyzing digital images of animal footprints. With the help of SAS technology, WildTrack researchers are exploring how artificial intelligence and crowdsourced footprint data from all over the world could help find answers to global conservation questions. Where are these animals migrating to? How many are left? Artificial intelligence could add the ability to adapt through progressive learning algorithms and tell a more complete story.
To date, WildTrack is monitoring several different endangered species, including the black rhino, white rhino, Bengal tiger, Amur tiger, lowland and Baird’s tapirs, and polar bears. With deep learning, a computer can be trained to perform humanlike tasks such as identifying footprint images and recognizing patterns in a similar way to indigenous trackers. But with the added ability to apply these concepts at a much larger scale and more rapid pace. Analytics really underpins the whole thing, potentially giving insights into species populations that WildTrack never had before.
As a first responder after a devastating earthquake in Nepal, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) needed to provide shelter to thousands of displaced families. Over 45,000 families occupied more than 200 tent camps that sprang up, scrambling for safe shelter as the torrential rains of monsoon season approached. IOM needed to find large amounts of sheet metal fast to start rebuilding homes.
SAS was able to help IOM quickly access global trade data that the UN collects every year. Decades of trade data from more than 200 countries was analyzed within minutes. IOM had answers about the area’s top producers and exporters of fabricated metal, and a purchase order for the materials was quickly placed. Data collection and analysis were key to giving people a sense of safety, stability and hope. SAS is excited about helping relief agencies understand what’s possible using analytics.
Each year in the US, nearly 200,000 service members begin the transition back into civilian life. For many, this can be a challenging time, marked by questions about what the next phase of life holds, issues related to finding and establishing a new career, and securing needed resources and support for a successful transition. The Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University uses data and analytics to serve those who have served their country.
The IVMF offers career skills programs that provide career training, entrepreneurship education, professional certifications and job placement support – all at no cost to the service member, veteran or family member. It also conducts national research, policy analysis and program evaluation, and works with communities and nonprofits across the nation to enhance service delivery for veterans and their families. The institute even uses SAS Analytics to drive its programs and operations, enabling the organization to gain greater insights on the impact of those served.
GatherIQ™ starts with you.
GatherIQ is a Data for Good app from SAS that uses analytics to support the efforts of nonprofits, partners and a growing community of citizens curious about making a difference. GatherIQ introduces you to the 17 Global Goals set by the United Nations for a better world. The free app lets the next generation of problem solvers learn about the goals and take personal action to help achieve them.
Data for Good in the Spotlight