Non-Profit

Century-old Charity Looks to Map Future through Big Data

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Though one of the largest nonprofits in America has the funding, passion and vision to continue its colossal aid to children worldwide, team members here must first wade through masses of data before potentially approving a single grant.

The charity needed a system to easily search and analyze its complete body of documents. The generous philanthropic giant also wanted a way to gauge the long-term effects of efforts to alleviate childhood poverty.

The nonprofit looked to Big Data for ways to make the most of its money and staffers’ time.

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Simplifying the Data Search

The organization has awarded countless grants in almost 100 years of giving. The collection of active grants alone has thousands of related documents, including applications, emails and reports. The charity wanted rapid access to relevant material – a way to perform Internet-like searches on this library of documents – and basic text analytics on the information inside them. BlueGranite worked with the charity’s IT team to create a concept that streamlines this process, as well an idea that allows the nonprofit to see the areas of greatest poverty across the country, and, over time, the effects of its relief efforts.

To create ease of access to the group’s massive data library, we designed a layered concept built on Hortonworks Data Platform. After extracting and analyzing the bulk of text, we created a simple way to index, search and view that repository, as well as an easy way to create result-based reports.

Charting the Future

Our other model, built atop United States Census data, collected every decade, and the government’s related, more detailed American Community Survey (ACS), will allow charity leaders to discover where aid is needed most, and to see what’s working in terms of aid given.

The custom data warehouse design incorporates census factors such as gender, age, race, ethnicity, relationship and housing tenure by location, and the deeper ACS socioeconomic information. Organizing this and other facts, then layering maps on top and wrapping a reporting system around it all allows rapid data analyses and measurement.

These systems will aid the charity in continuing to focus its immense efforts and funds where they’ll have the most impact.

We’d love to help your organization explore the world of big data benefits. Please ask us how we can help!

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