Applied Predictive Technologies Helps Global Water Challenge Improve Access to Clean Water Through Analytics

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APT analyzed water access initiatives in Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Uganda and Liberia, among other countries

Analytics software company Applied Predictive Technologies (APT) announced today the results of its data dive collaboration with the Global Water Challenge (GWC), a leading nonprofit that connects the private and public sectors to solve the world’s most pressing water challenges through access to sustainable clean water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).

The mission of APT’s data dives is to partner with high-impact nonprofit organizations through a data analytics project that generates actionable recommendations and insights. The data dives are also an opportunity for APT team members to use their analytical and engineering skills in the service of global and community development. Previously, APT has conducted data dives with organizations including MATHCOUNTS, Goodwill of Greater Washington and D.C. Prep charter school.

In this data dive, APT used GWC’s extensive Water Point Data Exchange (WPDx), which is a library of records covering nearly 400,000 water sources—such as wells or pumps—in more than 30 countries around the world. APT teams focused their analyses on several countries, including Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Uganda and Liberia.

Overall, the goal of APT’s investigation was to create data-driven recommendations on how to improve water access in developing countries. The analyses examined patterns in how macro-level water source characteristics affected water availability, including countries’ investments, policies, demographics and climates.

APT analyzed initiatives in the following areas:

1) Drivers of Clean Water Access: One APT team analyzed the macro-level factors driving successful water access in each country; they examined more than one hundred different traits such as population, demographics, employment, sanitation policies and the average age of water sources

2) Predictive Modeling on Water Access: Another team of APT employees built a predictive model to forecast the longevity of each water source, and used those findings to recommend how governments could plan their budgets to best prepare for inevitable water source breakage and repairs

3) Prioritizing Water Investments: The third team of APT employees created an algorithm focused on delivering clean water to the most possible people at the lowest possible cost; they mapped population data over water availability data, and recommended how governments could prioritize their investments between repairing old vs. building new water sources

Through their analyses, the teams found that they could successfully create data-driven models on water access to inform investment decisions by GWC and their partners. The teams also coded an interactive heat map highlighting underserved populations, and developed a tool to predict water sources’ risk of breaking. As an example of the direct outcomes from this work, GWC and their partners plan to use these tools to prioritize water point rehabilitation and run a field test of the predictive model on water source breakage.

At APT’s readout of the data dive results, attendees included GWC staff members, representatives from the governments of Sierra Leone and Swaziland and GWC partners including the Millennium Water Alliance and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

“APT enabled us to generate actionable recommendations that our partners can put into practice to the benefit of communities,” said Brian Banks, Director of Strategic Initiatives, GWC. “This is a huge value add in our mission to solve development challenges.”

“We look forward to seeing GWC apply these findings to help tackle the challenge of global water access,” said Matt Lindsay, VP at APT. “APT is proud to support an organization that is so committed to helping people around the world.”

About APT
APT, a Mastercard Company, is a leading analytics software company that enables organizations to rapidly and precisely measure cause-and-effect relationships between business initiatives and outcomes to generate economic value. Our intuitive and proprietary Test & Learn® software utilizes sophisticated algorithms to analyze large amounts of data, enabling business leaders to conduct experiments and allowing them to make optimal decisions and implement business initiatives at scale. APT also offers products that support decision-making for specific business needs, including transaction analysis, space planning, promotion design, category management and location selection. Visit http://www.predictivetechnologies.com to learn more.

About GWC
Founded in 2006, Global Water Challenge (GWC) is a coalition of leading organizations committed to achieving universal access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). With leading companies, civil society partners and governments, GWC accelerates the delivery of safe water and sanitation through partnerships that catalyze financial support and drive innovation for sustainable solutions. Through GWC’s innovative public-private partnerships, over 1 million people have been reached with clean water access. More information about GWC can be found here.

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