Have you ever wished for a crystal ball to see into the future? What if we had the ability to know ahead of time who might be impacted by domestic violence or homelessness? The idea isn’t so far fetched, maybe not attainable through a crystal ball, but rather by harnessing the power of predictive analytics.

What are predictive analytics?  It involves the use of data mining, predictive modelling, Artificial Intelligence and machine learning based on historical data/facts to make predictions about future outcomes. These tools are already being used in so many ways in our daily lives (such as marketing, credit scoring, and social networking), so applying them to support the greater good and addressing social issues seems like a natural progression.

The impacts COVID-19 have had to our collective health and wellbeing are wide-ranging and troubling. We have seen increased rates of domestic violence and food bank usage, and looming evictions as newly unemployed Canadians can no longer pay their bills… few of us have gone unscathed.

The convergence of using predictive analytics to address social issues and the need for a robust COVID-19 response prompted a group of social researchers and machine learning experts to set in motion the ambitious InnSoTech Project, which leverages AI in Canada’s social response to COVID.

InnSoTech is led by HelpSeeker and brings in a significant partnership with AltaML, York University – Canadian Observatory on Homelessness, University of Calgary – Faculty of Social Work, Mount Royal University, A Way Home Canada, and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. The project involves the development of an algorithm to predict and anticipate where rates of homelessness, suicide, and domestic violence are expected to rise across Canada. The project was made possible by an investment through the Digital Technology SuperCluster’s COVID19 program “focused on unlocking solutions to protect the health and safety of all Canadians and our economy through the development, deployment, and scaling of digital technologies.” 

This predictive algorithm will be a powerful tool to be proactive in addressing these issues before they unfold. In doing so, the hope is that costs that would otherwise be used to help react to a situation can be reduced and redirected. More importantly, it aims to bring us a step closer to preventing the painful and devastating outcomes resulting from a homelessness.

Does the thought of data, artificial intelligence and machine learning make your head spin? Join HelpSeeker at our next webinar: Data Science 101 for Non-Data People!

Thursday, September 24th 9am MST/11am EDT

At the webinar, you’ll learn:

  • An introduction to basic data science concepts and knowledge
  • How data can revolutionize the social impact sector
  • A guide to ensuring data is used for the greater good

Our featured guests, Dee Wang (Dehao W.), Matthew Parker and Yasaman Amannejad will provide a break-down of data science and how it can be applied to make advancements in the social sector.

Learn more and register for our webinar today!