Data for Good

Data for Good

Recognizing three organizations who have addressed some of the most challenging issues affecting society and the planet

Many organizations initiate data projects because they want to increase revenue, but a select few tackle projects that truly transform society. 

This year, Cloudera is recognizing three organizations as finalists in the Data for Good category of its annual Data Impact Awards: Union Bank of the Philippines, Keck Medicine of USC, and the National Bone Marrow Donor Program.

In order to be considered for the Data for Good category, submissions must have addressed some of the most challenging issues affecting society and the planet, making what was impossible yesterday, possible today, and transforming the future.

All three of the 2021 finalists met those criteria by submitting projects that changed — and in some cases saved — the lives of the individuals the organizations serve. 

…and congratulations to the winner: Union Bank of the Philippines

Union Bank of the Philippines: Financial lifeline

Founded in 1968, Union Bank of the Philippines (also known as UnionBank) is headquartered in Manila. The bank’s data project aimed to give Filipinos better access to credit and financial opportunities. More than 70 million people who live in the Philippines do not have a bank account. As a result of the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, many Filipinos needed to apply for loans in order to make ends meet.

Unfortunately, a high percentage of those people were initially unable to receive financial assistance because of limited or no financial history. UnionBank decided to find a better way to evaluate loan applications to help more customers.

The company used Cloudera Data Science Workbench to create data-centric applications and solutions. With an AI-powered credit scoring and risk model, they were able to more accurately determine which loans to approve.

As a result, the bank’s loan approval rate rose to 54%, and the firm generated $4.3 million in new loans. More importantly, it provided a life-changing financial lifeline to many individuals who were struggling.

Keck Medicine of USC: Tackling opioid addiction

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), an estimated 10.1 million teenagers and adults misused opioid drugs in 2019. And in 2018, opioids were involved in two-thirds of the deaths attributed to drug overdose.

Keck Medicine of USC decided to do something about the crisis.

Affiliated with the University of Southern California, Keck operates three hospitals: Keck Hospital of USC, USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, and USC Verdugo Hills Hospital. The award-winning healthcare provider also runs more than 40 outpatient facilities and a medical faculty practice.

The organization launched a project aimed at providing better insight into its physicians’ opioid prescribing practices. Doctors often prescribe these powerful painkillers after surgery or to treat chronic debilitating conditions. Unfortunately, patients sometimes become addicted if physicians don’t follow best practices.

Working with Cloudera, Keck created a data lake that eliminated manual data collection errors and gave visibility organization-wide. With advanced analytics, researchers and doctors are able to detect high-risk situations and take appropriate actions, such as patient and physician education. The project allows the organization to provide better care to its patients, helping them avoid potential addiction.

National Marrow Donor Program: Life-saving transplants

Every 10 minutes, someone dies of a blood cancer like leukemia. Many of these patients could be saved with a bone marrow transplant. However, 70% of patients do not have a suitable donor match in their family.

Run by the National Organization for Rare Disorders, the National Marrow Donor Program, maintains the Be the Match registry of around 44 million people worldwide who have volunteered to donate blood marrow. Its goal is to match willing donors with the people waiting for life-saving transplants.

As you can imagine, searching a database that large is no easy task. In order to speed up what was sometimes a time-consuming task, the program switched to a new cloud-based Cloudera deployment, simplifying data access and movement between operational search solutions and data analytics.

Today, the registry is capable of searching millions of donor profiles in just a minute. It has recently added more than 325,000 new donors to its database. In the end, this data project helped save the lives of 6,600 recipients of blood marrow transplants.

For any award, it’s common to hear the refrain “everyone nominated is a winner.” In the case of these three outstanding organizations that have used Data for Good, the people they have served are the true beneficiaries of these life-changing — and saving — programs.

Winner of the Data Impact Awards 2021: Data for Good

Join us in congratulating Union Bank of the Philippines for transforming the future by driving financial inclusion with broader access to products and services using machine learning and AI-powered credit scoring.

You can become a data hero too

Join us in celebrating Cloudera data heroes from all seven categories and email us at to find out how you can apply for next year’s nominations. 

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