When super-smart graduate students link up with technology and corporate partners, great things can happen to help those who are often forgotten in our community
In March 2021, Accenture sponsored the first-ever Super Analytics Challenge with the University of Pittsburgh Joseph M. Katz Graduate School to address the complex issue of homelessness in the Pittsburgh community.
The Pittsburgh MBA students mined data from the Allegheny County Department of Human Services to determine common scenarios that either led people and families into becoming homeless or actions which may prevent homelessness. The winning team revealed multiple contributing factors, but the top data point across the board was access to clean water.
“This project was a shining example of the power of combined creativity, human ingenuity and dedication,” said Accenture Pittsburgh Office Managing Director Albrecht Powell.
Accenture took the partnership to the next level and helped the Katz students implement their findings to make an immediate impact. During Accenture NA CEO Jimmy Etheredge’s March Townhall, Accenture colleague Cecilia Lester presented a story about her non-profit, LoveBeyondWalls, specifically LoveSinksIn, which provides portable sinks and hand-washing stations to 52 cities in the U.S.
Together with the University of Pittsburgh and LoveBeyondWalls, the sinks were installed and blessed over the weekend of Sept. 11-12 at the Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community in Pittsburgh’s South Side. Volunteer Training was provided by LoveBeyondWalls to ensure the sinks are thoroughly cared for and provide basic hygiene resources for people experiencing homelessness while protecting the community by reducing the aggressive spread of COVID-19.
“This project was a shining example of the power of combined creativity, human ingenuity and dedication,” said Accenture Pittsburgh Office Managing Director Albrecht Powell. “When we partnered with The Katz School for the Super Analytics Challenge back in March, we had no idea where it would lead us. But by combining the creativity of the Katz Students, the human ingenuity of Accenture and our partner Love Beyond Walls and the dedication and service of the Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community, the result was something that all of us are extremely proud of and we hope to continue our work together in the years to come.”
Katz organized an advisory committee consisting of representatives from corporate partners at UPMC, Highmark, Accenture, SAP, the National Association of Counties, and the Pittsburgh Technology Council. Representatives not only helped shape the challenge, but served as executive coaches, analytical methods experts, and subject matter specialists who worked alongside the graduate students to share experience and knowledge and provide guidance on the proposed solutions.