LRW has long had a reputation for using sophisticated analytics to solve some of the biggest challenges facing the world’s top businesses. And while I’m proud of this well-earned reputation, I’ve been just as proud of the passion that LRW employees have demonstrated over the years to apply their skills toward non-profit organizations and social causes. That’s why I’m thrilled that LRW is launching the UCLA Social Sciences LRW Big Data Partnership, which will give our team an even bigger opportunity to impact the community – and beyond.
The partnership is a true win-win for both UCLA and LRW. For UCLA, the partnership applies funding toward a new data science minor, as well as a new Social Justice course within the Division of Social Sciences. UCLA students also will have the opportunity to participate in an exclusive internship program at LRW, where they’ll get hands-on experience with big data and analytics. Meanwhile, LRW employees – especially those on our Marketing and Data Science (MaDS) team – will enjoy opportunities to collaborate with UCLA students and faculty on projects, workshops, and roundtables in social data science. LRW leaders will also serve on UCLA’s Social Science Big Data Advisory Board.
The UCLA Social Sciences Division is at the forefront of big data research, tackling issues such as homelessness, poverty, criminal justice, and education inequality. It’s worth checking out some of the school’s groundbreaking work such as its Million Dollar Hoods policing research, and the joint UCLA-Berkeley California Policy Lab. By working directly with students and faculty associated with these projects, not only are LRW employees affirming the value of “humans understanding humans,” but they’re also diving all-in on UCLA Social Science Division’s motto of “Engaging LA, Changing the World.”
With UCLA offering these sorts of opportunities to LRW employees, it’s equally important for us to open up our doors to UCLA students. Starting in the summer of 2020, an exclusive internship program will provide a diverse group of UCLA students direct experience applying and analyzing complex data sets to solve real world business challenges. LRW’s MaDS team will be terrific mentors for these students by helping them build important data science skills that will be their currency for the future. And as much as the real world experience will benefit the students, it will be just as satisfying for members of our team, many of whom are teachers at heart and know that there’s nothing more rewarding than to pass down their knowledge to the next generation.
LRW looks forward to an intellectual exchange with big data academics at UCLA to understand and develop new methods, practices, and ideas. But more importantly, we know this relationship will be a catalyst to do more good for all parties involved. By working with UCLA, we have the opportunity to inspire the next generation of analytical minds, while working to solve some of the biggest societal problems of our time.