Presented By O'Reilly and Cloudera
Make Data Work
September 25–26, 2017: Training
September 26–28, 2017: Tutorials & Conference
New York, NY

Data science for good: Benefit the world and your business at the same time

Derek Ruths (CAI)
11:20am12:00pm Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Strata Business Summit
Location: 1E 10/11

What you'll learn

  • Learn how volunteer efforts can improve a data science team’s culture and productivity


When corporate data science teams volunteer their time to help not-for-profit social good causes, such as making a case for WHO health policies, aiding crisis response with the Red Cross, or running targeted advertising for the neighborhood theatre production, amazing things can happen: community needs are better met, important social problems are tackled, and charitable donations are used more effectively. But in addition to helping the world, data science volunteerism also helps your organizational efficiency, your data culture, and your business.

Derek Ruths explains how volunteer efforts, when done the right way, can actually improve a data science team’s culture and productivity—motivating data scientists, sharpening their skills, providing exposure to new challenges, reducing turnover, and creating valuable recruiting opportunities. Derek shares a variety of practical avenues to connect a company’s data science team with social good causes and outlines the priorities to maximize social impact, minimize corporate overhead, and strengthen the company’s data science capacity in the process.

Photo of Derek Ruths

Derek Ruths


Derek Ruths is cofounder and chief architect of CAI, a charity focused on bringing the power of data science to social good initiatives. Derek is also an associate professor of computer science at McGill University, the head of R&D at Data Sciences, and the director of the McGill Centre for Social and Cultural Data Science. In these capacities, he works closely with major tech companies, advises governments on technical innovation, teaches executive education programs, and partners with international humanitarian organizations. In his work and research, Derek has been a longtime advocate for the essential role of data science in fostering more equitable, more prosperous, and healthier organizations and societies.

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Picture of Derek Ruths
09/20/2017 8:00pm EDT

They’re out there! Many, many NGOs and local community organizations would love to have a data scientist come in and help them with their data. I’ll go over a number of different approaches to make this work in my talk – but most of them start with either you or your company starting a conversation with an NGO – or with a data science for good organization (like mine). Pick a cause you care about and start there!

09/20/2017 7:55pm EDT does one find such volunteer opportunities?