Data Philanthropy: Case Studies in Using Data for the Greater Good

Jake Porway (DataKind), HyeSook Chung (DC Action for Children), Emily Tucker (Grameen Foundation), Braz Brandt (GuideStar USA, Inc. )
Location: Online Level:

Data scientists have the power to unlock the secrets within tangled datasets, to find hidden insights in mountains of numbers, and to use data to make better decisions. In this talk we’ll explore how data science can be used in the social sector to help non-profits make better decisions, understand their impact, and better fulfill their missions to improve the public good. We’ll present case studies where data scientists worked with social organizations (DC Action for Children, The Grameen Foundation, and GuideStar) through a partnership with DataKind, a non-profit organization that connects data scientists with mission-driven social organizations.

Photo of Jake Porway

Jake Porway


Jake Porway is a machine learning and technology enthusiast who loves nothing more than seeing good values in data. He is the founder and executive director of DataKind, an organization that brings together leading data scientists with high impact social organizations to better collect, analyze, and visualize data in the service of humanity. Jake was most recently the data scientist in the New York Times R&D lab and remains an active member of the data science community, bringing his technical experience from his past work with groups like NASA, DARPA, Google, and Bell Labs to bear on the social sector. Jake’s work has been featured in leading academic journals and conferences (PAMI, ICCV), the Guardian, the Stanford Social Innovation Review, and he has been honored as a 2011 PopTech Social Innovation Fellow and a 2012 National Geographic Emerging Explorer. He holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Columbia University and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Statistics from UCLA.

Photo of HyeSook Chung

HyeSook Chung

DC Action for Children

For the past 14 years, HyeSook Chung has worked to improve the lives of
children through direct service, advocacy and program management.

HyeSook has worked for various nonprofit organizations focusing on the
areas of child care, early childhood development, welfare-to-work and
school readiness.

In the fall of 2007, she began consulting for Washington Area Women’s
Foundation to support the Early Care and Education Funders Collaborative and the DC State Board of Education. While supporting the Collaborative, she worked with corporations and foundations to design
and implement goals, programmatic design and grantmaking strategies for the Collaborative. For the DC State Board of Education, she conducted a preliminary Birth to Three Needs Assessment.

Emily Tucker

Grameen Foundation

Emily is currently is Director of Product Management at Grameen Foundation. She joined the foundation in 2002 and is in charge of developing and launching their internal data mining and analytics initiative. Prior to Grameen, Emily spent 5 years at, where she oversaw product development, marketing and strategic planning for the used-product (“marketplace”) business which achieved $81M of sales in the first year of operations. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard University with a degree in Comparative Religion and South Asian traditions and spent a year studying at Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi, India.

Braz Brandt

GuideStar USA, Inc.

Braz is GuideStar’s Solutions Architect.

Braz has two decades of experience in the Information Technology field, spanning nearly every technical discipline from infrastructure to software development. He uses this vast experience to understand the rapidly changing and emerging technologies in order to build a vision for GuideStar’s technology platforms. He also works with users, customers, and partners to design and create technological solutions to their nonprofit data needs.

Braz is a Certified ScrumMaster, Certified Scrum Product Owner, Microsoft Certified System Engineer, avid photographer, and father to two beautiful girls.

Braz lives in Williamsburg, Virginia.