BrightHive is a company working to promote and enable responsible data sharing. BrightHive provides legal and ethical frameworks, technical standards and tools, and guidance through a data governance process to help their partners establish data trusts—collectives of organizations securely connecting and collaborating to create new, shared data resources.

Two Master of Science in Computational Analysis and Policy (MSCAPP) students from the Class of 2021—Amanda Whaley and Hana Passen—interned together as Knowledge Engineers this summer with BrightHive. Whaley and Passen worked on the Strategic Initiatives team, getting hands-on experience building partnerships and collaborations. We asked them to write about their experiences.

Amanda Whaley
Amanda Whaley

Amanda: In June and July, I supported the Strategic Initiatives team by conducting research on the current state of data systems and governance within the postsecondary and workforce ecosystems in five target states. I had the opportunity to participate in brainstorming sessions for the “ideal state” of these ecosystems in order to recommend investments that would help researchers, practitioners, and policymakers solve common problems using evidence-based interventions and data-driven approaches. 

BrightHive has been conducting this work in partnership with Entangled Solutions and Quality Information Partners. It’s part of a Great Questions Project collaboration with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Hana Passen
Hana Passen

Hana: During my first month with BrightHive, I worked with a great team focused on the launch of two Responsible Data Use playbooks—a series of action steps that governments, nonprofits, application developers, and service providers can take to share data responsibly while creating digital contact tracing technologies or collaborative tools to help job seekers find employment.

I supported BrightHive colleagues and collaborators, working to get the content ready for launch, helping strategize on templates and design for the web interface, and working with the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) on the webpage front end. The playbooks have gotten some great press, and we’re coordinating outreach to get more edits and plays from the responsible data sharing online community that BrightHive manages.

Amanda: Hana and I have also had the opportunity to work together on a “knowledge graph” project: a graph-based visualization of connections between people, organizations, coalitions, data systems, initiatives, and challenges. We’re conducting user interviews and developing an ontology, or schema, to help systematize the kinds of information BrightHive wants to capture.

Hana: In the short term, we’re looking to develop prototypes of the “knowledge graph” by the end of our time at BrightHive. In the long term, we plan to build a universal structure for the ontology, so that BrightHive can produce different visualizations of different data ecosystems using the same underlying data set, and we hope to design processes and tools so users can gain insight and take action based on the data represented in the graphs.

This has been an exciting opportunity, and we’re looking forward to applying this knowledge in our fall courses.

Curious what a day in the life of a Harris student looks like? Check out  our Day in the Life student series with these posts by Alejandro D. González López, MAIDP'20, and  Sabrina de la Vega, MPP Class of 2021!