As a technology company, Sabre is wired to bring innovative solutions that help our customers succeed. But it doesn’t need to stop with business. As an aggregator of big data, there could be an opportunity to use our products for social good.

Gina Anderson, associate professor at the Centre for Social Impact in New South Wales, points out that philanthropists want to identify and address the causes of social problems, not just react to the effects. The goal is to provide measurable outcomes, but to do this you need data.

In the philanthropic space, data could support sector and academic research, facilitating positive social change by identifying under-served communities and regions.

“If we’re going to scale any of our efforts to solve social problems, we’ve got to make better use of the fastest scaling tool humans have ever built: open data,” says Lucy Bernholtz, Ph.D, visiting scholar at the Stanford University Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society. Her recent article in the Harvard Business Review outlines how non-profit organizations need to share data and become purposeful users of it to meet their goals.

Today, systematic data collection across non-profit organizations doesn’t exist. It’s a major barrier to the philanthropic sector’s efforts to take social change into the future. For-profit businesses, however, have already made this leap. With the right partnerships, corporations could take their own corporate responsibility programs to the next level by leveraging or donating services and resources to help standardize data collection across non-profits.

What are your ideas on how technology and big data can help social programs and non-profit organizations?