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Creating Business and Societal Value with Data

Last month, I had the chance to speak at Data-Driven NYC about the important role data teams play in making ethical decisions with data. It was an awesome opportunity to meet with some inspiring data professionals who are advancing the state of the art in our industry. It was also an opportunity to discuss our joint responsibility for making sure our work advancing business interests also advances the human interest.

We're moving into an age in which AI, machine learning and related innovations will allow for decisions that are faster, more sophisticated and more precise. These decisions are also increasingly being made automatically, without direct human governance and often in a way that's personal for each user. These decisions can create incredible business value in shockingly short periods of time, but this business value does not always translate into positive value for society. In fact, in some recent high-profile examples, the opposite was true. It has brought our responsibility as data professionals building data software into sharp relief.

Periscope Data is a company, and like any company, we care about growing our business. Like many companies, we believe strongly that growing Periscope Data will benefit our customers, our customers' customers and the world more broadly. The best way to ensure that the software you create benefits society is to ensure that the people creating the software do so as part of a culture where society's values are explicitly prioritized. At our core, we believe that the data-centric and human-centric parts of a company are not at odds — they succeed together. A good way to ensure that dual success is to give your data team the autonomy to ensure that ethical decisions are being made by technology at your company.

If you’re interested in watching my presentation about this topic from Data-Driven NYC, the video is below.

 
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Harry Glaser
Harry makes sure Periscope Data has money in the bank, the best team on the field, and a grand vision for empowering data scientists the world over. In his spare time he still checks in a little code, much to the annoyance of the other engineers.