Analytics for a Better World: 2023 Year in Pictures!
Reflecting on a Year of Impact and Growth
In 2022, Analytics for a Better World was born from a vision to use analytics as a force for a better world. Founded by the University of Amsterdam and ORTEC, our nonprofit’s mission is clear—to empower nonprofit organizations with analytics, accelerating their impact and contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As we reflect on the past year, we find ourselves in a moment of pride and gratitude, surrounded by a dedicated team and supported by partners who share our commitment to creating a better world.
A Year of Growth and Achievement
Our team, fueled by the tireless efforts of our partners, has achieved remarkable growth on multiple fronts—expanding our core team, working with sponsors and partners, initiating impactful projects, broadening our impact, and strengthening our global connections. It’s a testament to our shared commitment to driving meaningful change.
Since our inception, Analytics for a Better World has completed more than 26 projects with 14 nonprofit partners across the globe, including in Timor-Leste, Vietnam, Nepal, Ukraine, Sudan, Kenya, and the Netherlands. And there are currently 14 projects underway. Next to the 8 person core team from diverse cultures bringing a multidisciplinary skillset, we’re working with 4,6 FTE of funded research staff and 2-3 FTE of professional support to drive our mission.
Focusing for Impact
This year, we made a strategic shift towards more impactful, repeatable, and scalable projects. We are determined to make a genuine and measurable impact on a global scale. We’ve set our sights high, aiming not just to scratch the surface but to delve deep into creating lasting change through analytics.
Driving impact with Analytics research and implementation projects
We look back at an impactful year. Our work has improved the efficiency of cleaning up plastic from the oceans, exemplified by our collaboration with the The Ocean Cleanup. We have enabled quicker and more effective disaster response and preparation by applying machine learning and text mining techniques in partnership with organizations like ‘510 an initiative from the Red Cross’. Our analytics-driven optimization efforts have enhanced access to healthcare, clean water, and waste collection in various regions, as demonstrated by projects with the World Bank, UNEP, Amref, and the Red Cross. We’ve also contributed to reducing poverty by supporting farmers in optimizing cattle feed. Additionally, our work with organizations like WFP and the Zero Hunger Lab has optimized food supply chains and improved the nutritional value of emergency food baskets, ultimately reducing hunger.
Sharing knowledge with our Academy, publishing Research and developing Open Source Tools
We take pride in not only delivering impactful projects but also in sharing our knowledge. Our commitment to open source tools and publishing research demonstrates our dedication to scaling our impact globally. For example our open source PISA toolkit, that optimizes humanitarian and development programs globally. Check out our recent research publications and contributions to a better world with analytics/optimization on A Robust Approach to Food Aid Supply Chains, Optimizing the Path Towards Plastic-Free Oceans, or Better Routing in Developing Regions.
Our commitment to knowledge sharing is evident in various initiatives. The ABW Fellowship program this year has equipped 100 participants globally with the skills to apply analytics for social good. Thereby we have helped bridge the data science skills gap and are reducing data science skill inequality worldwide. It is heartwarming to think of all these people from diverse and global backgrounds applying analytics and contributing in their own local context to our mutual mission. We’ve inspired the next generation through University of Amsterdam BSc and MSc Analytics for a Better World courses, a program in Istanbul for female Ph.D. students. And we educated the current workforce with in-house courses at organizations like PowerBI at Amref and Data Storytelling for Oxfam Novib.
Expanding Our Network
Our outreach efforts have resulted in new partnerships with businesses like Pipple and Cmotions, continued support from existing allies (Gurobi and DPDHL), and expanded collaborations with nonprofits like MSF and Oxfam. Recognition for our impact, including the IXA Impact Award for our Science to Impact director Dick den Hertog, and a second prize in the INFORMS TSL Best Student Paper Award, validates our commitment to excellence.
We have been sharing our passion and bringing together our primary stakeholders with our 2023 Conference where we had keynotes from 510 on improving disaster response with AI and The Ocean Cleanup sharing their mission and how analytics accelerates their impact. We’re excited that we’re gaining traction and expanding our community which can be seen in our Linkedin follower base, which just reached 3.000 followers, and email subscribers which is up to 2.500 currently.
Acknowledging Our Team
Our team is the reason of our success. We welcomed new supervisory board members, Franka Rovilnik Couzy and Jasmijn Besorak supporting our exposure, funding, nonprofit business model and positioning. And new core team members Marta and Kate, who bring fresh perspectives and drive to our operations, projects and events. Existing team members Dick, Parvathy, Claudia, Joaquim and Britt have been instrumental in leading and delivering impactful projects and sharing our story on various stages.
Gratitude and conclusion
As we close this chapter, we extend our heartfelt thanks to our nonprofit partners who trust us with their data, dreams and analytics challenges. University of Amsterdam and ORTEC as our crucial founders and funders. And our researchers and business supporters, big and small. It’s your trust, commitment, and dreams that propel us forward. Together, we are creating a better world with analytics.
In closing, Analytics for a Better World is not just an organization or analytics service provider; it’s a movement—a collective effort to leverage analytics for positive change. As we look ahead, we are energized by the progress made and motivated by the challenges that lie ahead. Thank you for being part of our journey, and here’s to a future where analytics continues to shape a better world for all.