Practicing data science for social good
Data science is a relatively new and vibrant field that integrates novel and traditional sources of data in creative ways to solve problems and inform decision-making. As governments and foundations have become more data-driven, we have harnessed the methods and mindset of data science to solve social problems and inform public policy in new ways, and even to solve problems once thought to be intractable. We seek out projects that tackle important national problems, improve our local communities, and transform research. We work with federal agencies, foundations, and state and local jurisdictions on projects that span public and behavioral health, criminal and social justice, public safety, survey research, education, and the environment.
We approach data science through a combination of problem-solving acumen, human-centered design, advanced analytics, and agile software development. We embrace difficult problems and deliver creative, functional, and beautiful solutions. Our data scientists, software developers, and visual designers, in collaboration with our colleagues with expertise in multiple research domains, practice “tip-to-tail” data science; that is, we iterate with our clients to first define the problem and design solutions that fit their needs, then continue iterating to provide actionable insight through a combination of advanced analytics, product development, and modern reporting.
Our vibrant data science team is a hub of innovation and collaboration, where people can thrive and be at their natural best while doing meaningful work to improve the world. Projects, presentations, publications, open-source applications, blogs, and media appearances demonstrate our thought leadership in the computational social sciences, most notably in data-driven justice. Along with our staff, our work has evolved from dashboards to deep learning, and from prototypes to fully deployed products. Inspired by RTI’s mission of improving the human condition, our Center is committed to practicing data science for social good.
Our technical capabilities include:
- Predictive modeling
- Machine learning, artificial intelligence, neural networks, and deep learning
- Microsimulation and agent-based modeling
- Text analytics and natural language processing
- Computer vision with images and video
- Network analysis
- Interactive data visualization
- Dashboards and web applications
- Data storytelling
- Data Engineering
- Data pipelines with traditional and innovative ETL processes
- Efficient data storage
- System performance tuning
- Cloud-based architectures designed to auto-scale
- Agile software development
- Rapid prototyping
- Test-driven development
- Continuous integration and continuous deployment
- Data products from concept to prototype to production at-scale, integrating non-traditional sources, types, and amounts of data