Data and analytics touch our lives every day. Consider:

  • A call from your bank warning of a suspicious transaction.
  • A well-timed discounted offer for something you need.

Most people realize that data and analytics are behind these things, but they remain on the periphery of mainstream conversations. We need to change that.

Does data drive our conversations?

For instance, if we’re going to have a discussion about migrants in our country (at a party, on social media or at the United Nations), wouldn’t it be helpful to have actual data on migrants’ countries of origin? And how many are seasonal workers versus those with specialty skills that fuel innovation in our technology companies?

If we are going to talk about clean water, wouldn’t it be helpful to know how much clean water per capita is currently available in your country?  And how much that has changed in the last 5-10 years?

Chart shows access to clean water in developing countries

Data visualization demonstrates that while the percentage of people with access to clean water is increasing, the amount of clean water per person is actually decreasing. [Click to enlarge]

A podcast that inspires data-driven conversations

At SAS, we want to inspire more data-driven conversations.  We want to fuel the curiosities of passionate people on the issues most important to them. That’s why, throughout 2018, SAS will be the official analytics provider for Global GoalsCast, a podcast series based on the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals to transform our world by 2030.  You can check out these podcasts through CBS News and Apple.

As part of the sponsorship, we're providing data visualizations and other images about critical humanitarian issues such as climate change, hunger, migration and clean water so that anyone – especially non-data experts – can easily grasp the depth of these issues. And while visualizations are helpful in telling the stories through the data, we are taking it a step further. We're also encouraging listeners to explore and share data on important causes through our crowdsourcing app, GatherIQ.  We want people to actively engage in the stories of global change instead of just listening to them.

This collaboration represents the latest in our Data for Good efforts, and our latest project in support of the Global Goals of the United Nations. In the past, we have helped the UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM) respond to humanitarian crises following earthquakes in Nepal and Pakistan, as well as for Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

For SAS, using data for good to address issues such as poverty, health, human rights, education and the environment is part of our mission. From child welfare to combatting opioid abuse, from behavioral health to providing better educational opportunities for children, the power of data to improve the world is profound.

We know that social engagement and awareness is critical. So what can you do? Listen and subscribe to the podcasts, download GatherIQ to explore and share data that help find solutions. Working together we can help shape the future of the only planet we have.

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About Author

I-sah Hsieh

Global Account Manager

I-Sah Hsieh is the Global Manager, International Development at SAS where he helps development organizations apply analytics to increase the pace of growth and prosperity in established and developing nations. I-Sah holds an engineering degree from Cornell University and has 15 years' experience in the software industry, across highly regulated industries like healthcare, defense, and telecommunications.

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