At ADC, we realise the potential of data & AI to create real impact in organisations. That’s why our entire team participates in an annual Collective Week where we work on pro bono projects helping organisations in the Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden who can’t afford our services make a positive impact. It’s also an opportunity for us to continue strengthening our collective skills and culture through team building activities.
This year, for our fifth annual Collective Week, we worked on 22 diverse projects, which is twice the number we undertook last year. This achievement has been facilitated by our rapid growth and expansion in Denmark and Sweden. The projects aim to use data & AI to support mental health, gender equality, environmental protection, education systems, and much more!
”The purpose of this week is twofold: 1) working on pro bono projects for inspiring and impactful organisations and 2) strengthening our Collective through collaboration and reflection.Rik van der Woerdt (Co-Founder & CEO)
Team building and Collective Feeling
This week’s collaboration brought us closer together as a Collective. We dedicated ourselves to both hard work and enjoyable moments, affording us the opportunity to strengthen our bonds. This was particularly significant because it marked the longest period that many of our colleagues from various offices had spent together.
Our mornings were dedicated to setting a positive tone for the day through physical activities like CrossFit, yoga, and swimming in the hotel’s pool. In contrast, our evenings were all about fun and creating lasting memories. We engaged in a charity poker tournament, participated in pub quizzes, and tested our limits in ice baths. As the week came to a close, we raised our glasses in a ceremonial toast and danced the night away.
”Over the years, we have grown from 11 to nearly 150 participants, from 1 to 22 clients and from a farm-stay to renting out an entire hotel. But many of the rituals and the feeling of togetherness have never changed.Rik van der Woerdt (Co-Founder & CEO)
Positive Impact: Pro Bono Projects
Rik van der Woerdt (Co-Founder & CEO) explains how we increased our positive impact by using our data science expertise: It is ADC’s mission to initiate and contribute to the successful completion of the most impactful data science initiatives. By design, the benefits of these initiatives should outweigh the investment required. But an investment is still required. For some organisations, especially non-profits, this investment is too steep, resulting in us missing opportunities to create a positive impact with data science. Therefore, we dedicate a full week every year to assisting these organisations.
Below is a summary of a selection of the pro bono projects we worked on during this week.
Kvindeøkonomien, a Danish non-profit, addresses the gender financial gap in Denmark. Despite Denmark’s gender progressiveness, women still earn, invest, and save less than men, facing structural barriers.
Our team created an accessible, user-friendly platform that focuses on four key aspects: investments, childcare, unpaid work, and pensions, using interactive visualisations for clarity. The aim is to empower women with information to make informed financial decisions, raising awareness of the long-term impact of seemingly small choices.
Oscar Circular manages waste to reduce environmental impact. However, their reliance on Excel hampers data management.
To address these challenges and enhance data collection, visualisation, and revenue projections as they scale, we developed a strategic roadmap, outlining steps for implementing a data warehouse, skills enhancement, cost estimation, and governance. Additionally, based on existing data sources, we designed a flexible data warehouse blueprint.
Weco – the Wave Energy Collective
Weco pioneers innovative solutions for harnessing electricity from ocean waves, an underutilised yet promising renewable energy source. By harnessing horizontal wave motion, this converter generates clean energy.
The challenge lay in establishing an efficient data pipeline from the device’s sensor data to a cloud-based platform with a meaningful dashboard. Our team successfully automated sensor data transmission every minute, structured and stored it in the cloud, and developed an insightful daily dashboard. This comprehensive data pipeline will significantly expedite Weco’s developments and facilitate real-life testing.
GirlTalk, a Danish NGO dedicated to improving girls’ mental health, needed a data-driven strategy, especially for political advocacy. Uncertainty about data usage and trust in its insights hindered their initial progress.
Our team outlined a data maturity framework and actionable steps. We employed the theory of change framework to guide them in improving political advocacy through data. The Data Maturity Framework assessed seven data categories, highlighting strengths and weaknesses while inspiring future development. We also provided a roadmap for data-driven advocacy, considering impact and investment.
African Parks is a non-profit conservation organisation that takes on direct responsibility for the rehabilitation and long-term management of 22 national parks across 12 countries in partnership with governments and local communities. However, data integration hurdles persist due to the lack of a unified infrastructure, hindering accurate impact assessment.
Our team delivered a scalable data architecture blueprint based on existing sources and an efficient implementation roadmap encompassing costs, resources, and governance. Embracing a unified cloud environment to consolidate diverse data sources will enable African Parks to bolster impact measurement and decision-making.
”I want to congratulate and sincerely thank you for this body of work which, in my view, matches exactly with what we had hoped to get out of this. Job really well done and very exciting times ahead.Dave Verkaik (Head of Business Intelligence, African Parks)
Amsterdam Wisselbank Archives
Established in 1609, the Amsterdam Wisselbank (AWB) held a prominent role in global finance for centuries. Its records, meticulously preserved at the Stadsarchief Amsterdam, offer a wealth of historical insights.
Our team worked to visualise and analyse data related to a subset of the 2,500 AWB clients during the 1772-1773 financial crisis. Leveraging a dataset of 35,000 records, we transformed it into a graph database for network analysis. The outcome included a comprehensive code base, a concise pitch deck for the client, and a demonstration of the archive’s digitisation potential. We anticipate that this work will catalyse collaboration with historians as well as social scientists and funding efforts to unlock deeper historical knowledge.
Wilder Land, dedicated to combating plant extinction, seeks to scale its operations while maintaining financial autonomy. Challenges include low customer revenue and data gaps for informed decision-making.
Collaborating with ADC, Wilder Land focused on two key questions: how data can boost scaling efforts and how to establish reliable insights into critical business metrics. Our solution included a long-term data roadmap and an MVP for a strong data pipeline and a dashboard displaying essential metrics for the B2B channel, D2C channels, and Operations. This empowers Wilder Land to make data-driven decisions, facilitating their scaling goals while preserving financial independence.
Huru International, an NGO operating in East Africa since 2008, addresses period poverty by providing reusable pads and menstrual health education to schoolgirls. Their data, collected through surveys, aims to measure the impact of their work on women’s well-being.
Effective impact measurement is crucial for NGO success, but Huru lacked a clear framework. During our collaboration, we developed an impact measurement roadmap, emphasizing the importance of theory of change, data governance, and technical improvements. We also enhanced their data collection methods and provided insights for stakeholder communication.
Bedre Psykiatri is focused on positively impacting the daily lives of the relatives of individuals struggling with mental health. Their lead acquisition doubled from 10,565 to 25,711 between January 2020 and July 2023. Understanding the needs and interests of these new leads is crucial for tailoring digital services to match their characteristics.
Based on a survey distributed to the leads and interviews conducted with a diverse representation of these leads, our team created a report to help Bedre Psykiatri gain insights into this new, previously unidentified target group, informing their future digital communication and support. The insights revealed that existing and new leads share similar characteristics, highlighting increased demand for support for relatives of individuals undergoing psychiatric treatment. Recommendations included methods of improving awareness among primary target groups, especially during times of stress.
Stichting Kenniscentrum Ongelijkheid
Stichting Kenniscentrum Ongelijkheid, a non-profit dedicated to researching inequality in Amsterdam, aimed to demonstrate its impact to funders. Initially, they lacked a visualisation of their realised impact and had limited data on collaborators.
Our team provided a comprehensive solution, including an interactive research network visualisation, highlighting project coverage across six domains and showcasing key collaborators and individual connections. This visualisation unearthed previously unknown insights within the data of Stichting Kenniscentrum Ongelijkheid, helping them assess the impact’s scale based on size, diversity, and cross-domain initiative coverage in their network. Additionally, our roadmap was designed to facilitate more precise impact measurement, empowering the Stichting Kenniscentrum Ongelijkheid to effectively convey their achievements to funders.