The Impact Lab brings science to the business of doing good. We work with a wide range of public- and private-sector partners to solve analytical and strategic problems, particularly in the areas of health, education, operations, and sustainability.
What We Do
Collecting the right, valid, reliable data is where it all begins. The Impact Lab team has years of experience creating non-burdensome data collection plans for organizations around the world. We bring together the best in technology and methods to ensure that the information driving your decision-making is sound.
Insights & Visualization
Insights & Visualization
We help make your data more accessible and relevant through exploratory analysis and interactive visualizations.
We work with our clients to develop proprietary algorithms to help them improve the performance and the impact of their work.
We work with our clients to develop prototype applications and products on-top of their data like recommendation engines and classifiers.
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The Impact Lab works with funders to help them get the information they need to make better investments. Our work with funders includes Needs Assessment & Grantmaking Alignment, Pay for Success for programs, Business Intelligence Solutions, Portfolio Assessments, and Technical Assistance.
The Impact Lab works to develop business analytics for nonprofits. What is the information you need to inform your decision-making? How can data drive your strategy? We work with nonprofit executives and leaders from around the country to develop analytics for their enterprise.
The Impact Lab works with education organizations interested in using data to improve the outcomes of their students. We have worked with schools to build predictive models of student outcomes, and have expertise in alternative credentialing and evaluation models.
Energy & Sustainability Organizations
Energy & Sustainability Organizations
The Impact Lab works with utilities, regulators, NGOs, and nonprofits to improve energy efficiency and access around the world. In addition to our consulting and rapid prototyping engagements, we collaborate on the Open Energy Efficiency (http://openeemeter.org) project to evaluate the realized savings from efficiency investments.
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Marc SotkiewiczExecutive Advisor
Marc Sotkiewicz has built a career helping organizations to build and use business analytics and data science to improve business results. While his early professional career was focused on building shared services business units in international companies, his experience in organizational change and human resource business processes led him to be an innovator in HR analytics at Accenture, where as a partner he led the creation of the firm’s first HR analytics offerings and was recognized there as an inventor. He went on to lead the US State & Local Analytics team at Accenture. Subsequently, Marc led the creation of a public sector business unit at Experian for state and local data services. Marc’s business philosophy is summed up by the French statement “on va y arriver”, meaning quite simply “we will get there together.”
Jennifer GriffinUX/UI Designer
Jennifer specializes in making the complex simple, intuitive, and consistent across the range of user experiences, and her drive to understand the end-to-end process from the onset assures that any application’s custom build is optimally suited for its user base. Her design experience spans both the public and private sectors; among her previous accomplishments she constructed a complete remodeling of MSF Geneva’s health information system, played an integral role on web design teams for major telcos, spearheaded rebranding campaigns for financial, political, and medical organizations, and designed numerous mobile applications from the ground up.
Jennifer holds both a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Furman University and an Advanced Graphic Design certification from Emory. Though she originally hails from Atlanta, Georgia, Jennifer spent time in Chicago while working for The Onion in 2013, and she is now delighted to be back in the Windy City.
Andrew Means is Co-Founder of The Impact Lab, a data science shop that works with nonprofits, foundations, and government agencies on solving social problems. He has previously held leadership positions at The University of Chicago’s Center for Data Science & Public Policy, Groupon, and the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago. He holds a Master in Public Policy from the Harris School at the University of Chicago and is a trained Six Sigma Green Belt from Motorola. Andrew is Chairman of the Board of Directors at The Supply and a member of the Board of Directors at Ingenuity Inc..
Thomas Plagge is an Impact Lab principal and data scientist whose work focuses on the practical use of data in education, public health, and community development. He was a mentor and co-organizer for the Data Science for Social Good summer fellowship program, which puts teams of aspiring data scientists to work on hands-on projects with governments and nonprofits. He earned his PhD in Physics from the University of California, Berkeley based on the analysis of galaxy cluster data from the South Pole Telescope, and worked as a senior researcher researcher at the University of Chicago’s Center for Data Science and Public Policy.
Matt is an internationally recognized leader in applying data science to public policy challenges. He holds positions at the University of Chicago’s Center for Data Science and Public Policy & the Urban Center for Computation and Data. At the University of Chicago he has lead efforts combining the social sciences with machine learning and big data to drive behavior change and implement adaptive policy interventions. He is the co-founder of the Eric and Wendy Schmidt Data Science for Social Good fellowship, which in its first two years has paired 84 fellows with over 30 national, state, and local government organizations and NGOs. He serves as an advisor to Code for America, DataKind, the Chicago School of Data, and is a member of the World Bank’s Partnership for Open Data. He has previously worked at US Treasury’s Office of Energy and Environment and has previously founded several companies focused on analytics, energy, and finance.
Jesse BernsDirector, Field Data Collection Lab
Jesse is a field epidemiologist and clinician with over a decade of service in the realm of complex humanitarian emergencies. Most recently, she served as an emergency epidemiologist for Medicins Sans Frontieres. In this role, she has worked throughout the middle east, sub-saharan Africa, and latin america in response to conflict, disaster, and infectious disease outbreaks. Most recently, Jesse has worked on the front lines of the Syrian crisis in Iraq & Lebanon as the principal investigator for several large emergency health assessments. Jesse also functioned as the technical lead for the MSF Switzerland Health Information System (HIS) project; where she designed simple, field-driven data collection tools & methods for use in 22 countries and over 50 emergency projects.
Prior to her role as an epidemiologist at MSF, Jesse worked as an Epidemiologist for the World Health Organization Iraq Country Office (EMRO). During her time as a graduate student at UC Berkeley, Jesse was a graduate researcher at the US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) Emergency Response Branch (ERB). Prior to her public health career, Jesse served as a critical care Paramedic for 6 years for the City of San Diego.
Phil NgoData Scientist
Phil is a full stack developer with a specialty in building data-driven solutions. He has a background in applied statistics and machine learning with experience in a variety of fields, including residential energy end-use disaggregation, anomaly and breakpoint detection, natural language processing, neural control of actuated prosthetics, and avalanche prediction. He has several years of experience building software for early-stage startups in energy efficiency, smart and connected devices, data visualization, 3D modeling, and task management. He has a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, where he studied Chemistry and Computer Science. Recently, he was a fellow at the Eric and Wendy Schmidt Data Science for Social Good program at the University of Chicago.
Hunter OwensData Scientist
Hunter is a data scientist with the Impact Lab, focusing on Education and Urban initiatives. Prior to joining the Impact Lab, he worked at KIPP, the Data Science for Social Good Fellowship, and Obama for America. Much of his work focuses on scalable Extract-Tranform-Load pipelines, predictive analytics, and actionable data practices. He holds a B.A. in History from the University of Chicago.