Data Science for Social Impact (DSSI)

Data Science for Social Impact (DSSI) is an initiative that builds data capacity and collaboration among St. Louis social sector organizations working to increase impact for and with the communities they serve. This initiative is a partnership between the Social Policy Institute at Washington University in St. Louis and the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, in collaboration with an advisory committee, the St. Louis Regional Data Alliance, and data.org.

Data can be a powerful tool, particularly in the social sector, with unique opportunities and challenges alike. For example, the majority of available data-focused resources are designed to build technical skills. Fewer resources are designed to build capacity around elements of responsible data use or strategies for utilizing data to impact people’s lives and promote equitable outcomes. The DSSI initiative is working to develop a set of free, accessible training and programming opportunities tailored to the priorities and needs of social sector organizations seeking to build capacity in these areas.

“Whether or not you think you’re working with data, data is impacting you. Data is being collected that speaks to your job, that speaks to your caseload, or that speaks to your clients if you’re doing direct service capacity. There are opportunities to use data thoughtfully and strategically, no matter what your role is.”

Samantha Stangl, Data Analyst, St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, WashU Alum

Recent Events and Blogs

  • Learn more about our upcoming events here.
  • Our Elevating Community Voice in Data Collaboration Practices event featured Sarah Kennedy from Generate Health on Oct. 1, 2021. Watch the recording.
  • Check out our Roundtable Series through Oct. 2021 and Nov. 2021.
  • Our first set of roundtables solicited input from community members in the future creation of education and trainings on data for social impact on April 27 & May 7. Watch the recording.
  • Who counts as a “data person”? At the Social Policy Institute, we think that anyone can support using data in the social sector. Learn what experts across the social sector think about supporting data capacity across an organization. Read the blog.