Funder Spotlight: Hillary Ashton, Chief Product Officer, Teradata

As we celebrate our 10 Year Anniversary, this year also marks another major milestone, our decade-long partnership with Teradata.

Teradata Cares, and their focus on Doing Good With DataTM, has always aligned perfectly with the DataKind mission to harness the power of data science and AI in the service of humanity. With their steadfast support, we’ve been able to advance critical work in key issue areas, strengthen our Chapter network, and grow our global community.

Thanks to Teradata, we’ve hosted DataDive® events, our annual Global Summit for our Chapter network, and numerous community gatherings (in-person and virtual). And that’s not all. From helping to better triage nuanced crisis-based text conversations with Crisis Text Line, to advocating for and amplifying voices of people harmed by international development projects by improving data scraping tools for gathering insights with the Accountability Counsel, to identifying communities where home smoke alarms are needed most by building a Home Fire Risk Map with the American Red Cross. Together, we’ve successfully completed many projects over the years. 

To honor our ten consecutive years together, we thought it timely to take a moment of reflection and appreciation and shine a light on our collaboration. Hillary Ashton serves as the Chief Product Officer at Teradata. She’s leading the Products Organization as they drive innovation as the connected multi-cloud data platform for enterprise analytics, enabling the ecosystem to build data and analytics solutions. Along with her technology leadership, she’s an active advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion. Thanks to Hillary for sharing her thoughts on why now is the time to deepen support and help see data science generate long-term, tangible organizational and sector-wide impact. Special shout out to Sherri Nugent, Director of Community Relations at Teradata, for her support and exemplary leadership that’s guided this partnership for the last ten years.

The demand for data science and AI are greater than ever and are a critical part of building a more equitable, sustainable, and resilient future. We couldn’t be more humbled by Teradata’s commitment to our mission, and because of our continued partnership, we’ll be able to advance critical work in the years to come. 

What inspires the Teradata team to support and champion Data Science for Social Good?  

Our purpose at Teradata is to transform how businesses work and people live through the power of data. The opportunity to serve, our strength as a team, and our potential as a company inspire us to pursue our commitment to social good. It’s a fundamental element of our culture to help others use data for good and support the communities where we live and work.  

We’re fortunate to have brilliant teams who are driven to find creative solutions using data science to some of the most challenging problems the world faces. Data is the foundation in every sector, be it healthcare, hunger-relief, frontline services, housing, or disaster relief services.  

What are some ways Teradata’s support of Data Science for Social Good aligns with Teradata’s business at large? 

Our organization is committed to creating cutting-edge technologies, and we have amazing people who are equally dedicated to helping leverage data science to community service initiatives across the globe via our Teradata Cares programs. Our people volunteer their time and talent to help make the world a better place, from driving health outcomes to  improving communications to accelerating sustainability efforts at our front door across the globe. Our solutions benefit so many sectors, and it’s very motivating to see how these results can touch lives, enrich communities, and serve the world.  

As Teradata looks ahead to the next 1-2 years, what’s the thinking around the role of Data Science for Social Good? Where do you see the opportunity and potential?  

Data is at the forefront of every relief effort, whether it’s administering immunizations, supporting rescue operations, feeding the drought-stricken communities, or more. Helping nonprofits leverage the power of data and analytics creates the right information for organizations to plan for the support needed – to identify critical issues, resource allocation, fiscal impacts, inventory, and reliable projections for upcoming needs. Data science plays a critical role not just in prioritizing issues, but also in qualifying the support needed and translating it into actionable items.    

Thinking of our 10-year partnership, what’s one of your favorite projects or events from your collaboration with DataKind?   

Teradata has partnered with DataKind on many important initiatives; two great examples come to mind. We especially loved working with Crisis Text Line helping teens in crisis, as well as serving as sponsor for DataKind’s amazing and ongoing work with the American Red Cross to identify areas for help with fire prevention in at risk communities. Our Teradata Cares program brings about many opportunities to serve, and we can’t imagine a future without supporting DataKind and the world at large.  

Teradata was recognized as one of the world’s most ethical companies for the 13th consecutive year. As a leader in the Software and Service industry, what lessons can be shared around committing to ethical business practices?

This designation is a great honor for our company; operating ethically and with integrity has been our ethos from the beginning, a reflection of our commitment to doing business the right way, and we remain committed to ethical business practices. Being a responsible corporate citizen is a crucial part of our DNA—it’s the right thing to do for the world, and it makes Teradata a place where people really want to work. 

Teradata invites all identities and backgrounds in the workplace. We work with deliberation and intent to ensure we’re cultivating collaboration and inclusivity across our global organization. ​ We strive towards constant learning and evolving our processes as we continue to build on our success. This commitment pushes the boundaries of data science for good, and we warmly embrace that opportunity now and in the future. 

How does Teradata engage employees in their Data for Good work? How would you encourage other corporations to involve employees in the Data for Good movement?  

Our company culture encourages employees to add value to their communities – whether during a pandemic and in new flexible working modes. For example, Teradata offered a COVID-19 Hackathon and employees rallied with more than 125 project ideas to put their data analytics skills to work. Teradata’s Resiliency Dashboard, created during the pandemic, was offered free to customers and nonprofit organizations.

We encourage employees to follow their passions and create projects that solve real-life problems, build confidence, create camaraderie, and help solve some of society’s greatest issues. The payback for Teradata – and other businesses that do the same with Data for Good projects – extends way beyond what can be reported in financial statements.

If you haven’t already, make sure to register for our 10 Year Anniversary virtual event (sponsored by Teradata Cares and The Rockefeller Foundation) on Friday, November 11, to celebrate the Power of a Decade of data for good, DataKind’s impact using data science and AI to advance the global social sector, and explore what the future can bring together.

Take Teradata’s lead in supporting DataKind as a global leader of the Data for Good movement. Get in touch at Not a corporation? Here are 10 ways you can engage with DataKind!

Join the DataKind movement.

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