What We Do
DataKind UK helps social change organisations use data science to have more of an impact. We do this by connecting them with some of the UK’s best data scientists for free.
We understand that data science is new territory for many social change organisations, so our programmes are designed to guide organisations through first-time data science projects, and to build up their confidence.
We draw on eight years of experience of highlighting the opportunities and navigating the challenges of using data science in the social sector. As a charity, our support and advice is independent. Read more about us.
We want to support your organisation to use data and data science in the long term. That support will also look different depending on where your organisation is now, and what you want to do next.
It might be a one-off chat to help you make a decision, a DataDive to kick start your data journey, a DataCorps to embed data science in your organisation, or ongoing mentoring during your data transformation.
Our work is largely pro bono, and you don’t have to have technical skills to work with us. We’ll make sure you’re learning with us as we go.
Who do we support?
DataKind UK supports any UK-based social change organisation that needs help with data science! This includes:
such as service delivery charities and campaigners:
including community interest companies
Public sector bodies
including arms-length bodies and Local Authorities
We worked with two teams from DataKind UK's brilliant community for two years. It helped us understand how data science techniques can support our research and campaigning. The project findings have been instrumental in our campaign for greater corporate transparency in the UK and further afield. They have had a direct impact on how the UK government collects and processes data on who controls companies.
DataKind is a fantastic charity that is very relevant for the charity sector, who are generally in need of support and expertise around data. For FareShare the partnership has given us lots of brilliant ideas about what is possible, it has been great to work with your wonderful volunteers as well. Thank you for all you do.
Street League is a really data-driven organisation; we’ve always tried to use data to understand how we’re doing and how we can get better. The strength of a DataDive is having so many people with different perspectives and experiences looking at that data without the biases that we might have. They gave us really objective, comprehensive advice and recommendations about our data, data collection methods, and programmes going forward.
The DataDive really opened my eyes to what is possible. With better datasets, and the right people analysing them, we can do so much more than we thought!
What is data science?Data science is the 21st century term for using tools to gain insight and knowledge from data. The skills used tend to be a combination of maths and statistics used in research and evaluation, with programming skills from computer science.
Data science is about using data to test hypotheses. Have a hunch that one of your programmes works better than another? We can explore that with data science!
Data science also offers your organisation the opportunity to better fulfil its mission. It can help you to understand your beneficiaries or clients, evaluate the effectiveness of your programmes, and learn how to increase your impact. It can also support crucial decisions about where to focus your limited energy, time, and budget using evidence, not assumptions.
I’ve never used data science, why should I start now?If you’ve ever used data to improve your programmes, or planned a new outreach project based on beneficiary feedback, you are using data analysis. Data science is the next step - using data to test a hypothesis or make predictions. Scaling this up, and working with data experts, helps you to find better insights and boost your impact.
Data science can include artificial intelligence techniques like computer vision (identifying images) or machine learning (finding patterns in the data). If you'd like to learn more about what other social change organisations are up to in the data science world, you can always sign up to our newsletter.
Find out more about our projects and how we can help you
A DataDive brings together a team of pro bono data scientists to work on your organisation’s specific data challenge, at no cost. Over three to six months you’ll work with our volunteer community of experts to better understand your own data and the potential of data science to increase your impact.
Not sure where to start?
If you’d like to get data support but you’re not sure where to start, get in touch with our Data Science Lead Dulcie Vousden. Or take a look at some of the organisations on our Resources page for signposting to further support.
Not in the UK?
DataKind UK is one of six global DataKind chapters. You can find the others in New York, San Francisco, Washington DC, Singapore, and Bangalore.
If you're not located near a DataKind chapter, check out our list of Data for Good initiatives around the world.