Founded in January 2020, DataWorks is our first initiative to advance diversity in CS education outside of K-12. The program recruits people from economically disadvantaged neighborhoods and underrepresented groups in computing to train and employ them as Data Wranglers and Data Developers. Part startup company, part outreach effort, and part research platform, DataWorks provides its employees with on-the-job training to learn entry-level data wrangling skills.
To learn data skills like cleaning, linking, and reformatting, employees use real-world “messy” data – provided mostly by Atlanta non-profit organizations. Once cleaned the data are returned to an organization to help it fulfill its mission and business objectives.
Our mission is to leverage the collective influence, research, and knowledge base of the public university to provide data for all and develop data skills in partnership with local communities.
About Our Work
Our work is sustained through income generated from contract-based long-term and ad-hoc projects from nonprofit, government, and for-profit organizations.
Our data workers are paid hourly. Faculty and students do not receive compensation from our contract-based work.
We are able to process in any format. Much of our data work is tedious, such as extracting data from pdfs and transforming it into machine readable formats, or cleaning, categorizing, and sorting data in spreadsheets. We are good at this! We are also able to format data specifically for use in other applications, such a preparing data for importing into customer relationship management systems, or mapping, spatial analysis, and visualization tools.
Some of our recent data work has included:
- Extracting and formatting data from 10+ years of city agendas
- Categorizing dog surrender data from shelter reports
- Geocoding and mapping dog surrender data from shelter reports
- Scanning and manually entering business card data
- Preparing segmented mailing lists from business card data
- Formatting donor data for importing into a CRM
“Rather than just teaching, we think it’s important to have people situated in a real work environment. In doing so, they feel like what they are doing is more valued. It also allows them to see themselves as being a part of this industry,”
- Betsy DiSalvo, DataWorks founder and School of Interactive Computing Associate Professor