Meet Michael Hanks, data scientist

What do you do at Social Finance?

Why do you like working for Social Finance?

Good data analysis can lead to life-changing decisions being taken. For example, we’ve recently been working with a children’s services team. They wanted to know what the demand for their services could be when schools reopened after lockdown, such as how many social workers they might need. We built a model using data from other local authorities to show what could happen, then helped them to plan for that.

It’s great being able to work with like-minded people. I can’t wait to get back into the office, bump into colleagues and have a random interaction that could spark some new ideas.

But we don’t just take the data and analyse it. At Social Finance, there’s also an emphasis on upskilling the organisation we’re working with. We help them learn how to use data tools, so they can continue their own research and analysis. This could be something as simple as Excel, as many organisations don’t have the resources or latest technology available.

Speaking of tech, what programming languages or database software do you use most often?

What’s the best part of your job?

What project have you enjoyed working on the most?

If you weren’t a data scientist, what was your Plan B?

How or where will data have the biggest social impact in the next few years?

Giving people and providers better access to health data means it becomes much more public facing and more public serving. Building those systems and building up that data infrastructure is a massive area to improve outcomes in health and social care — two of the areas that people care about the most.

What advice would you give to someone applying for your job?

View current opportunities at Social Finance

We combine social and financial insight to help our partners make a difference to enduring problems — where outcomes are poor and costs of failure high.

We support change makers in the UK and internationally to improve people’s lives through better public services, a stronger voluntary sector and a clear focus on outcomes.