Non-profit organizations StepUp Durham, Habitat for Humanity, public health startup Counter Tools, and the Anti-Defamation League can make better use of data today after receiving plenty of expertise from volunteers at a SAS-hosted hackathon.

SAS co-hosted the “DataDive” along with DataKind, which recently was recognized as Fast Company’s top 10 most innovative non-profit organizations.

Here’s how DataKind describes one of its DataDives:

“DataDives are high energy, marathon-style events where mission-driven organizations work alongside teams of volunteer data scientists, developers, and designers to use data to gain insight into their programs, the communities they serve and more. All in 48 hours or less.”

More than 100 volunteers, including data scientists and statisticians, pitched in to help the participating organizations develop new tools to improve data use.

“Data without analytics is value not yet realized. These Data Dive volunteers brought immense value to the data of these non-profits over the weekend,” said Oliver Schabenberger, SAS Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, about the event. “SAS is passionate about data and analytics, and are very proud to be part of the Data for Good movement.”

Here’s how the participating groups plan to utilize what their representatives learned, according to SAS:

  • The Anti-Defamation League was able to cite the new approaches it was taking to analyzing hate crime data when its CEO testified before the US Senate in early May, as well as to examine policies that impact agency reporting.
  • Counter Tools, a public health start-up from the University of North Carolina that wants to curb the use of tobacco, can better identify retailers who target minors or set up store displays in violation of Assurances and Voluntary Compliance (AVC) agreements signed by the corporate parent.
  • Habitat for Humanity can better understand its impact in the communities it serves, target areas where Habitat will flourish, visualize charitable giving patterns and explore social media best practices.
  • StepUp Durham, which provides employment training and life skills to people seeking employment and greater stability in all areas of their lives, will use findings to be more strategic in how they recruit participants to attend programs, while using findings to improve the training processes in order to increase participation and graduation rates of program attendees.

“To the volunteers who have done this work, we owe you a debt of gratitude,” said Snorwlor (Sno) Bropleh, Associate Director of Collaborative Services, at Habitat for Humanity, in a statement. “This DataDive has transformed our world. We learned about new tools we can start using immediately, and addressed questions we didn’t even know that we needed to ask.”