The SAP HANA for Humanity program is already having a huge impact on what real-time data analysis can do for local governments and communities. As SAP’s Manju Bansal recently reported, students at KIPP King High School in San Lorenzo, California were able to use HANA for Humanity software with data from non-profits and government agencies to help identify some of the worst crime-ridden areas in San Francisco. By utilizing 1.5 Million crime records from 2003-2012 along with additional data sets like locations of liquor stores and police precincts, the students used HANA for Humanity to have a “real and meaningful impact on a very pragmatic basis,” wrote Bansal. “Analytics can reveal layers that may otherwise be hidden at an aggregate level.”
It is likely that this fascinating study is just the tip of the iceberg for HANA for Humanity’s potential. As the program’s website states, HANA for Humanity can be utilized to help solve problems in other areas as well, like health care, the environment, education, and economic development. The program works fairly simply and efficiently, beginning with the “Database of Dreams”, an open crowdsourcing forum where anyone can submit any problem they want to see resolved from anywhere in the world.
Next, once the issues are identified and agreed upon, government agencies and non-profits are brought in to provide pertinent data to analyze the problem, just as the San Francisco project utilized over 1.5 Million crime records alone. Then high school or college students are made part of the problem solving process and taught how to analyze the data utilizing SAP HANA. This component is important as it exposes the next generation to data-analysis software, and the students get to work with real technical experts – academics and industry professionals from a wide range of fields like computer science, mathematics and statistics – as they draw up their conclusions. These solutions are then publicized and presented to the communities so effective action can be taken to fix the problems.
It’s a fascinating and innovative program with huge potential, as the example with the KIPP King High School students and their San Francisco study clearly shows. Not only is SAP developing yet another approach to engage and involve the millennial generation, but they are giving them pragmatic SAP HANA software to identify, analyze and fix problems of their choosing. As the HANA for Humanity website mentions, addressing street crime is just the beginning – other HANA for Humanity projects include improving the performance of air carriers, assessing the impact of hurricanes in the Southeast U.S., profiling patients to identify major health care problems, and providing economic development information to rural populations via data collected from mobile phones.
If the San Francisco project is any indication, HANA for Humanity could be one of the most important tools for engaging the millennial generation, preparing them for a brighter future where they can identify and solve the world’s problems themselves.