What is the Data4Change Accelerator?

Cloudera Foundation embarks on new program to help nonprofit organizations explore, analyze datasets

Many nonprofit organizations have unique datasets that – alone or in combination with other data – may offer deeper insights into the needs of beneficiary groups or faster tracking of programmatic interventions. Program staff working on data-centric programs may have a new hypothesis about the information contained in their organization’s datasets that – if validated – could dramatically improve decisions and activities.

Yet through our conversations with 300+ nonprofits over the past three years, the Cloudera Foundation has learned the in-house infrastructure, tools, and technical expertise required to yield these insights are often out of reach due to prohibitive costs and overburdened nonprofit staff.

In response, we are offering the Data4Change Accelerator to equip nonprofit organizations with the tools and expertise needed to test whether they can generate added value from their data.  

The D4C Accelerator is a fixed-term, nonprofit data exploration and analysis platform managed by Cloudera Foundation’s data engineers and operated on the Cloudera Data Platform (CDP) Public Cloud. The D4C Accelerator functions as an analytics “sandbox” that can handle large, complex datasets.

At the Cloudera Foundation, our mission is to enable nonprofits across the world to use data and data analytics to improve people’s lives and the planet. However, as a technology foundation, we acknowledge that technology is only one component needed to generate value from data. We see our core contribution to nonprofits and funders as providing technical support and expertise in advanced analytics and data technology.

Nonprofits selected to participate in the D4C Accelerator will team up with dedicated Cloudera Foundation data engineers and technologists to:

  1. Translate problem definitions into data questions 
  2. Prepare the data for ingesting, and
  3. Use a cloud-based platform to determine whether the datasets explored contain the information needed to answer those previously defined questions

Beyond our in-kind contributions of infrastructure and expertise, we may also provide supplementary support to cover expenses associated with running the nonprofit’s data exploration of up to $75,000 (at least $25,000 of this grant amount would be allocated to cloud-related costs). 

Actionable outcomes

Each engagement will run for up to 6 months, with success defined as delivering a conclusive response to the nonprofit’s data hypothesis and determining actionable next steps for the nonprofit’s program – whether that entails outlining a means to address newly identified data gaps and quality issues, sharing promising insights with potential partners, or targeting larger grantmaking organizations to advance the nonprofit’s data project. 

Contact us

The Foundation aims to launch a limited number of D4C Accelerator projects in 2020-21. We are particularly interested in supporting nonprofit organizations focused on advancing social justice and racial equity. To schedule a conversation about a potential D4C Accelerator project, please email shareyouridea@clouderafoundation.org, with a concept note no longer than two pages long that responds to the following:

  • Describe a problem your nonprofit hopes to make progress on using the nonprofit’s own or other available datasets. 
  • List the datasets you believe are required to work on this problem.
  • Provide one or more data-related hypotheses that the nonprofit wants to test to address the problem described.
  • Whom will the nonprofit designate to work with us? (Please provide a one-paragraph bio per person.)
Cloudera Foundation
Cloudera Foundation is a Silicon Valley-based private philanthropy established by Cloudera, Inc., the enterprise data cloud company. The foundation works to enable nonprofits worldwide to use advanced data analytics and machine learning to improve people’s lives and protect the planet. We collaborate with grantees to build their data engineering capacity through direct access to technology, data expertise and long-term technical support. Our multi-year partnerships allow nonprofits to establish infrastructure and develop technical capabilities to scale and sustain their high-impact work. The foundation also manages Cloudera, Inc.’s employee giving program Cloudera Cares, empowering Clouderans around the world to give back to the global communities where they work and live.

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