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Unleashing the power of data for Good

August 22, 2014

By James Hodson, Bloomberg R&D. Originally posted on

Humans solve problems by identifying the common patterns that can unlock similarities, explain differences, and relate diverse facts into a coherent whole. As the number of sources of information grows, systems become more complex, and social interactions take hold, decision making becomes hard; more an art than a science, prone to bias, and difficult for humans to ensure they are choosing an optimal path.

Today, we need to solve problems that extend beyond the local, beyond a single well-understood system, beyond the boundaries of business and state. Impacts to our climate, our urban infrastructure, our livable ecosystems, and the decisions we make that affect the social behavior of our species must be treated by looking at the available information, weighing the evidence, and choosing the most likely course of action that will make people safe, happy, and productive over the long term.

We collect data across so many systems, but often fail to make it available to the right stakeholders at the right time. We do not always have the right tools or resources available to factor in all possibilities, nor disseminate the message to everyone who needs to take action.

The KDD at Bloomberg conference on August 24th follows a long Bloomberg tradition of facilitation and action in these areas to accelerate the impact that the research community can have on problems that are at the core of society. We will gather key experts across the policy and non-profit communities in a variety of disciplines from climate science to transportation infrastructure to meet, network, and learn from each other by attacking head-on the biggest coordination issues that are preventing progress from being made. The event will host keynotes from visionaries, promote active discussions among the different communities, panels on targeted topics, and three research tracks treating the hottest topics on the frontier of data science and social good.

Join us to make an impact.