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Unlocking the Power of Data Refineries for Social Impact

The social sector often lacks key data due to certain constraints

In 2021, U.S. companies generated $2.77 trillion in profits—the largest ever recorded in history. This is a significant increase since 2000 when corporate profits totaled $786 billion.

Social progress, on the other hand, shows a very different picture. From 2000 to 2021, progress on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals has been anemic, registering less than 10 percent growth over 20 years.

What explains this massive split between the corporate and the social sectors? One explanation could be the role of data. In other words, companies are benefiting from a culture of using data to make decisions. Some refer to this as the “data divide”—the increasing gap between the use of data to maximize profit and the use of data to solve social problems.

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