Data for Good

Cuebiq’s Data for Good Program: Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going

By Brennan Lake / 4 minutes

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Providing social value through location data has been paramount to Cuebiq since day one. Through our Data for Good program, we provide access to anonymous, privacy-preserving location data for academic research and humanitarian initiatives related to human mobility. 

Keep reading for a look back at our Data for Good efforts from last year, what we’re currently working on, and what’s to come in our quest to provide social value through data.

Data for Good Initiatives of 2020 

Looking back, 2020 was a big year for Cuebiq’s Data for Good program — below are three of the major projects we focused on last year:

1. Partnership With Oxford University

Since the beginning of the pandemic, researchers at Oxford University have been using Cuebiq data — in combination with other data sources, such as the UK’s National Health Service data — in order to measure the effects of lockdowns and other COVID-19 restrictions on mobility. In addition to these metrics, the COVID-19 Impact Monitor also measures visitation to various points of interest, such as retail locations, grocery stores, and public-health facilities. Given the UK’s multiple lockdowns over the past year, mobility data has proven to be a helpful proxy for understanding the effectiveness of such measures in restricting mobility and COVID-19 transmission.

2. Collaboration With the CDC

In the early days of COVID-19, Cuebiq began working with the CDC’s Geospatial Research, Analysis & Services Program (GRASP) to provide real-time insights into mobility in the US. By using Cuebiq’s aggregated and privacy-preserving Mobility Insights, the CDC is able to better understand trends in overall mobility, such as median distance traveled, sheltering in place, contact rates, and origin-destination travel, all at the county level. 

3. Hurricane Laura Evacuation Insights

Since 2017, Cuebiq has provided academic researchers with access to its mobility-data insights in order to measure evacuation patterns during natural disasters, such as hurricanes and wildfires. By generating more user-friendly data sets through our Mobility Insights dashboards, we have been able to develop easy-to-read dashboards that provide insight into metrics including evacuation rates, evacuee destination by county, and trends based on income. Our first dashboard provides insights on evacuation patterns during Hurricane Laura, which hit the Louisiana and Texas coast in late August 2020.

Joining the Trinity Challenge

More recently, Cuebiq has made strides in our Data for Good efforts by joining the Trinity Challenge.

The Trinity Challenge is a coalition of partners promoting the use of data and analytics to identify, generate, and reward insights that contribute to the goal of a world better prepared for health emergencies. Cuebiq became a member of the Trinity Challenge in January of 2021 and is partnering with other members to work on integrating geospatial data into decision-making during health emergencies.

Through the Trinity Challenge, we are able to learn from the expertise of other members across the realms of public health, big data, academia and more, while also supporting other members with access to our own COVID-19 Mobility Insights.

How Cuebiq Workbench Fuels Data for Good

Looking ahead, Cuebiq’s Data for Good efforts are set to make a major impact in 2021 and beyond, thanks in part to the launch of our new platform as a service, Cuebiq Workbench.

As Cuebiq continues to be a pioneer in privacy within the location-data space, it is critical to ensure that privacy-preservation techniques also preserve the utility of Cuebiq’s data to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges, such COVID-19 response, social equity, and the growing threat of natural disasters. With Workbench, Cuebiq is offering our Data-for-Good partners a responsible data-sharing platform that allows users to query our full data stack, while obtaining only highly aggregated and privacy-preserving outputs. This, in addition to our pre-built data sets and processing tools, all wrapped in a governance layer, empowers researchers and public-sector entities to benefit from big data while minimizing resource requirements and privacy risks. 

Check out our Data for Good page to learn more about the program.

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About the Author

Brennan Lake, Senior Director of Research Partnerships & Data for Good

As head of Cuebiq's Data for Good program, Brennan works with researchers and non-profits to improve lives through the novel use of location data. Brennan's background includes leading an international development NGO, and co-founding a SaaS platform for small businesses in Latin America. Outside of work, Brennan mentors for a social-entrepreneurship accelerator, and is pursuing an Executive MBA at Cornell University.