Data Science: A Promising Field of Study for Social Workers?

Comments (9)

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Using Data to Build the Social Services of the Future

Great read! Data science is an empowering tool that enables for different approaches towards current pressing social needs. I'm really excited to see as well as contribute towards using the data science process in creating or improving on existing solutions.I urge you to advocate for this tool as I see a need for individuals with a humanities background in this current field especially considering the ethical implications that data-driven tech will have on our society.

Daniel Garcia more than 2 years ago

Data Scientist and LCSW

Wow!! I have been a programmer analyst/ research statistician (now days aka: "Data Scientist") for over 2 decades. I worked on using AI methods and neural nets to do pattern analysis to modeling econometric data using information theory via Matlab modeling and Java. I have also used embedded JDBC sql engines to link databases on mainframe to client server to cloud platforms. Now I am using information theoretical algorithms to apply neuroeconomics to client decision point processes as well as to perform real time multinomial longitudinal analyses of social networks. What informs the shape and direction of my analyses is my Social Work education and experience especially in the forensic mental health field. Not too long ago it was considered odd to have a LCSW and a data science background. Nice to see that this is getting challenged. I think now computing and modeling can be used by Social Workers in ways that make the old static models (i.e., classical stat models) look like still pictures. WE can make analytical movies by using dynamic social models that social workers utilize every day in practice. Who knows, we can even branch out into quantum computing modeling. I think computing power is just now capable of running the new dynamic in situ analyses that social workers could use.

David Bell, MDiv, MSW, LCSW more than 2 years ago

Data Science

This is a wonderful opportunity to invest in the social work workforce to demonstrate the value of social work through research

Theresia Ratliff more than 3 years ago

Thank you

Thank you for taking the time to read the article. It is much appreciated. I believe we have a great opportunity to use big data sets with caution to assist vulnerable populations in ways we could not have previously.

Dr. Shonda Lawrence more than 3 years ago

Data Science

I appreciated your article. I have been having similar thoughts. Current research is limited to studying one variable at a time. Big data coupled with machine learning opens whole new opportunities (and challenges). Imagine a world where we can predict suicide, the best foster placement and what therapy/therapist will be the best match for a particular client.

Allan Clarke more than 3 years ago

Data Research

I teach a intro to Social Work Class at a community college and I came across your article when preparing a section that includes discussions regarding how social worker impacts different fields, how important it is to collect data and other information for not only funding purposes, state mandates but also to have better analysis of assessment and forecasting of human behavior. I am not a great statistical person but, I believe as educators we have develop and encourage this skill set for future social workers in an effort to meet the needs of populations they serve. Thank you for this article.

Angelene Musawwir, LCSW more than 3 years ago

Data Science

Thank you so much for reading and commenting on the article. I am in the process now of developing an entry level course with my colleagues for college freshmen. It’s great to hear that you have already begun exposing students to greater possibilities around research.

Dr. Shonda Lawrence more than 3 years ago

Praise for expanding social work options.

I am indeed excited to learn of this information that is new for an LCSW.

George Anderson more than 3 years ago

Data Science

Thank you taking the time to read the article and commenting. I think the possibilities can be a great benefit to our field overall and to most importantly those we serve.

Dr. Shonda Lawrence more than 3 years ago

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