The WB Data Lab is a community of practice for colleagues seeking to modernize project data practices through learning, networking, and shared resources.
Lab members are eager to learn, build new skills, and support each other.
This is your platform for testing and scaling big ideas. Want to crowdfund something? Got a great SDG or ESF indicator method to test? Want to form a partnership? Organize a training? This is your network.
The Lab is also your chance to meet colleagues across the organization -- from DEC, ITS, and our Global Practices -- through engaging activities.
Our Lab organizes monthly talks on data and technology trends that directly impact our work. Past talks, hosted by our Vice President for Sustainable Development, have included:
|Data is Dead. Long Live Data.||The use of data to design and monitor Bank operations isn't new, but technologies are quickly transforming the efficiency and efficacy of our data practices, as well as the risks. No staff or client should be left behind -- join our inaugural interactive Tech Talk to find out what we need to know, how we'll learn, and, critically, how we will be supported through the revolution.||Video, Slides|
|Need Data? Start Here (Not There).||Every World Bank project begins with data, but not every project takes advantage of the open and proprietary data sources available to all staff. Learn how to level up your project data acquisition strategy in this lightning talk + gameshow mash-up.||Video, Slides|
|An Economist, Data Scientist, and Geographer Walk into a Bar...||You're almost out of BB, and your project's gotta move. You need analytical support, but can only afford one person -- do you choose the experienced economist, the hotshot data scientist, or the savvy geospatial specialist? What is the difference, anyway? Come find out in this friendly smackdown, where colleagues show off their professional pride as they tackle the same development challenge from different perspectives. Be prepared for the surprise ending.||Video, Slides|
|Your Brain is Not Enough. Use Modern Data||You've heard about big data and AI. Now be empowered to use them. How? Find out in this engaging Tech Talk, where you will participate in a live BOT or NOT Turing test, followed by discussions with Kalev Leetrau (RealClear Media Group), who created the world’s largest open news database (GDELT), and Joe Flasher (Amazon Web Services), who will introduce the Amazon Sustainable Data Program -- an unprecedented collection of open data directly relevant to Bank work. Also, colleagues from the ITS Innovation and Technology Lab and the DEC Data Analytics and Tools team will help you connect with Bank AI talent to use these modern data in your projects.||Video, Slides|
|Fun Toys and Serious Tools for Field Data Collection||Spice up your next mission with modern data collection methods. First, learn how to capture street view images(spoiler alert - it's easy) and then how to use these images to support project monitoring (even in FCVs), RAP development, DRM risk assessments, road safety assessments, and more. Then, learn how your colleagues are training clients to collect geo-tagged data for project monitoring. The session will wrap up with a show-and-tell table, with a selection of data collection tools and apps you can try (sub-text: come in person - it'll be informative + fun)!||Video, Slides|
The Lab manages formal legal partnerships with universities on behalf of all Bank staff, linking teams to student data science and engineering talent. For example:
|California Polytechnic||Bank staff receive support from 2-3 student data scientists, who are in turn supported by DxHub solutions architects, innovation experts, and/or a professor for up to one school year. Through Cal Poly's DxHub program, students receive guidance from a joint Cal Poly and Amazon Web Services (AWS) team, as well as access to all available AWS Cloud tools. More information about the DxHub program and innovation process may be found here. Also, information about DxHub's new satellite imagery machine learning program may be found here.|
To facilitate connections between staff from differnet departments, the Lab organizes workshops, training activities, and field trips that are universally relevant to our operations. For example:
|US Digital Service Field Trip||Staff were treated to a presentation on how US federal government attracts talented mid-career tech talent to do a "tour of service" to help modernize public services, follwed by a visit to the US Digital Service office, across from the White House.||Flyer, USDS Link|
|Amazon Web Servieces Training||Amazon Web Services (AWS) training is part of a series of events organized by Development Data Partnership for IT staff and data scientists. The course covered new Amazon tools to make it easier and faster to organize and analyze very large, unstructured data. Training materials include self-paced, step-by-step hands-on lab activities. To access lab materials, please request permission from firstname.lastname@example.org to access via GitHub.||Lab Materials|
|Facebook Data for Good Workshop||Through the Development Data Partnership with Facebook, staff can now access anonymized Facebook data products. Facebook colleagues introduced these new resources, and staff who have been using them presented their work on gender, energy, and disaster risk management projects.||Video, Slides, Photos|
|Center for Open Science||Dr. Soderberg discussed the challenges and opportunities of Open Science and how the Center for Open Science is providing training and guidance to organizations on data sharing/reuse, and adding rigor to data analysis.||Slides|
|ESA Earth Observation Clinic||The European Space Agency (ESA) supports on-call, prequalified geospatial firms ready to support your project on all manner of satellite-imagery and remote sensing activities. Support, valued at <= US$45,000, will be provided to qualified applicants. Apply through the Development Data Partnership (datapartnership.org).||Slides, Video|
|Data Partner Workshop: Climacell||Climacell combines traditional weather sensor data with non-traditional sources to derive up-to-the minute, real time micro weather and air quality mapping and forecasts. There service is used primarily by utilities and transportation companies, like Uber and Ford, and airlines, such as JetBlue, United, and Delta. The workshop focused on the Bank's response to the locust crisis in east Africa as a case study, but discussion and questions covered all manner of challenges -- transport, agriculture, industry, etc.||Agenda, Video|
|Data Partner Workshop: Indigo||We are very excited to introduce our newest Development Data Partnership member, Indigo. Through Indigo's Atlas platform, users can access high-resolution, real-time data on crop location and health, impact of weather on crops, and more. During this introductory workshop, we learned about and discussed how we can make the most of this new platform.||Agenda, Video|
|Data Partner Workshop: Ookla||Ookla, part of the Development Data Partnership, is one of the world's largest providers of global Internet connectivity intelligence data. The workshop started with an introduction to the Ookla platofrm and was followed by a clinic with three Bank team who had submitted proposals to work with Ookla data.||Agenda and Links, Video|
|Data Science Talk: Monitoring Sentiment towards COVID-19 Policies using GDELT||GDELT, an open-licesne repository of real time local news data, is being used to track sentiment towards COVID-19 policies and challenges. The program's founder, Kalev Leetrau, introduces how to access the many resources avaialble through the platform.||Abstract, Slides, Video|
|Data Science Talk: Using Social Media, Online News, and Text Analysis for Monitoring COVID-19 Impacts||A Social Development GP team used alternative data (Twitter, Instagram, news media, Facebook, Google, Premise, etc.) to boost their COVID-19 social impact monitoring. Their work helped rapidly inform decision makers and identify rising public concerns, with a large population sample at a very low cost. Talk topics includesed: monitoring conversations via social media and online news; crowdsourcing citizen information via online surveys; comparing results across different data collection efforts; and integrating with other big data efforts, such as mobility analytics.||Slides, Video|
|Data Science Talk: Learn How to Access and Use Crowdsourced Smartphone GPS Data in Your Project||The Development Data Partnership has partnered with four mobility data providers to acquire smartphone GPS data across many emerging economies. These data have applications for understanding population movement during the pandemic, supporting client advisory on topics such as social distancing measures, placement of mobilie testing facilities, and estimating economic activity. At the workshop, participants learned about these data providers, the data transformations undertaken by the Partnership team to make analytics easier, the data documentation system, and recent work on COVID-19 indicators.||Slides, Video|
|Measuring Equitable Access to Health Facilities with Data Partnerships and Open-Source Tools||Meet our summer intern Afeefah Khazi-Syed, biological engineering major at MIT, as she presents her research on analyzing physical access to health facilities. She hopes her work can inform decisions on how to allocate scarce resources towards placement of mobile health services. Afeefah's work, which includes open-source code that Bank staff can use to replicate her results, utilizes data from Facebook and MapBox, acquired through the Development Data Partnership (datapartnership.org).||Slides, Video|
|Mapping and Analyzing Geospatial Data for Social Assistance Delivery||Learn how the team used geospatial data to improve the delivery of social assistance programs in Tunisia. The event is jointly organized by Social Protection & Jobs Global Practice, ITS Technology and Innovation Lab, and the WB Data Lab as part of the LearnDTech Initiative.||Slides, Video|
The Lab supports learning about both the digital world and each other through books. Every quarter, we organize a speed dating book fair, to help staff find their perfect book match. Following are some of our activities and materials:
|FY20 Q3 Book Club||Reading Selections|
|Author Talk: Cathy O'Neil, Weapons of Math Destruction||Video, Slides|
|FY20 Q2 Book Club||Reading Selections, Event Photos|
|Speed Dating Book Fair Guide||Guide|
|Book Club Lead Guide||Guide|
The SD Data Lab team works closely with the Development Data Partnership, which forms private data sharing partnerships on behalf of all World Bank staff.
Visit the Data Partnership website.
The most critical function of the Lab is to build bridges between operations, ITS, and DEC teams. These bridges are facilitated by Lab Leads -- savvy colleagues nominated by their managers and/or directors responsible for connecting their teams to the right Leads.
View our amazing Lab Leads, here.
Everytime our Lab Leads make a connection between teams, they earn points for the Lab!
How many points so far? Take a look!
||Agenda and Links to Partner and Staff Materials, Video, Minutes|
||Slides, Minutes and Poll Results|
Colleagues based in Country Offices and Regional Hubs can set up their own Data Labs, building communities of practice around modern data methods. To start your own Lab, download the Country Club Data Lab Kit, which includes everthing you need to get started: sample meeting agendas, activity ideas, advertising materials, and more.
Download a Country Club Data Lab Kit!
Looking for inspiration? See what your colleagues in the field are up to:
We are creating a "map" of data-related services in the World Bank, from data acquisition to analytics. This is a work-in-progess, and your feedback is is critical to it's success.
View Current Draft!
Got a tough development challenge? Need to respond to an urgent crisis? Don't go it alone. Connect with your geospatial, data science, IT, and sector colleagues. The Data Lab can convene relevant teams and external partners on your behalf to: (a) break down your challenge into concrete actions; and (b) advise on readily available data, methods, and resources you can start using right away. See past clinics, below.
|Locust Crisis 2020||The Lab organized a Data Clinic (first of its kind) with our Agriculture GP colleagues to brainstorm ideas for tracking and predicting locust swarms, drawing upon the many data resources we have in the Bank. In addition to our Agriculture GP colleagues, colleagues from Climate Change GP, Environment GP, FCV GP, ITS GeoLab, Geospatial Operations and Support Team, DEC Analytics and Tools, DEC Development Data Hub, Development Data Partnership, and WBG Library joined us at the clinic. Together, we defined a clear set of challenges related to the current locust crisis, and we identified analytical methods and resources for addressing these challenges.||Solution, Materials, and Minutes|
|COVID-19 Clinic: Health GP Priorities and Big Data||The Lab organized a Data Clinic with our Health GP colleagues and Lab memebrs to learn about: (1) WB Health GP priorities for addressing COVID-19 and planned analytical work; (2) Data resources available to Bank staff through the Development Data Partnership (Facebook, Google Health Trends, and MapBox); and (3) Preliminary big data analytics being undertaken by Bank colleagues on different aspects of COVID-19 response.||Slides, Video, Minutes|
|COVID-19 Clinic: Mobility Data||The Lab organized a Data Clinic for our DIME colleagues, to discuss on-going and proposed use of mobile device data for COVID-19 analytics. Guest speakers include colleagues from Cuebiq and Flowminder, as well as Bank staff sharing ideas and new initiatives.||Slides, Video, Minutes|
|COVID-19 Clinic: Air Quality||At the request of our FCV colleagues, the Lab organized a clinic on the link between air quality and COVID-19 outcomes. We invited speakers from the Environment GP, the European Space Agency, and Climacell to share resources and best practices.||Slides, Video, Discussed Paper|
|COVID-19 Clinic: Location-Based Indicators||Health colleagues asked the Lab to organize an "emergency" clinic to help them narrow down a set of indicators to support social distancing policy formulation. To get started, we invited external partners from Google, Facebook, MapBox, Unacast, and Carto to share the latest progress globally, as well as colleagues from DEC, GFDRR, Poverty, and FCVs to share progress on the Bank’s efforts. With this firehose of a session, we herded cats to mitigate duplication of effort and set a foundation for collaboration.||Agenda and Links to Partner and Staff Materials, Video, Minutes|
|COVID-19 Clinic: Food Security||COVID-19 and the on-going locust plague pose high risks to food security. Colleagues from the Agriculture Global Practice ask, "What are the available data and digital tools with potential to monitor food prices and help mitigate food supply chain disruptions?" Speakers from the IMF, FAO, the IFC, Premise, and Indigo share their resources and ideas to help address this challenge.||Slides, Video|