Data for Action

Data for Action

Today’s data-connected world provides a unique opportunity to strengthen decision-making. That’s why we believe data has the potential to be connected and available for communities to access, analyze, and translate into practice. Our Data for Action portfolio supports research and organizations that increase the usability and connectivity of data in order to accelerate insights that improve practice and policy for children and families.

Goal
Data empowers communities and local actors to make impact-driven and cost-effective decisions that enable children to unlock their full potential

Mission
Increase the usability and connectivity of data in order to accelerate insights that improve practice and policy for children and families.

Our approach

  • Support the open-access and connection of data to enable novel insights and analysis
  • Champion high-impact cross-disciplinary data and research projects that have the potential to deliver fast, low-cost results
  • Support the development of data science talent in the social sector, helping organizations add a data-centric approach to their work
  • Seed the development of low-cost, technology-driven innovations based on evidence-based insights to improve research, practice, and policy

What we’ve learned

  • The majority of data integration efforts focus on health and welfare. Education is not typically part of these initial efforts as it is seen as a more challenging sector. Only 54% of established integrated data systems fully include K-12 data.[1]
  • Preventing silos is difficult. Research efforts are often tied to a researcher, who does not have incentives to share his/her dataset due to the competitiveness of the field. We believe a focus on transparency and open source expectations from the outset will facilitate future collaboration and applications.
  • Education data work is challenging due to families’ fear over privacy, data breaches, and clarity of purpose. Maintaining a fully ground-up approach, including building demand within agencies/organizations and communities, will increase buy-in, privacy protection, and success of responsible initiatives.

Sample grantees


[1] Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy (AISP), National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (NNIP), Data Quality Campaign (DQC), National League of Cities (NLC)