Data and analytics permeate so much of our daily lives, even where we might least expect them. That’s one hallmark of Brandon Taubman’s 15-year career: finding avenues to apply data science to improve outcomes no matter what the industry. The most recent beneficiary of this skill set and outlook on professional organizations was AVDA (Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse). The nonprofit organization is dedicated to serving victims with a variety of services including counseling, advocacy, and even legal representation. Many resources, which are available to both victims alongside prevention programming for abusers, are provided as a result of donations of funds and effort from volunteers and benefactors across the community.
Brandon Taubman recently donated his own time and skills to the organization with timely effect. Nonprofits thrive, in part, based on the and funds received from key donors. Yet like any organization, they need to be able to tell a story regarding how their capital is allocated as well as the expected or realized return on those expenditures. However, AVDA held a trove of historical data that had long gone untapped due to insufficient technical and analytical resources. “[Taubman] worked with our teams, teaching them how to use software to extract information about the clients we served and tell a meaningful story about the transformative work AVDA does,” shared AVDA CEO Maisha Colter.
Taubman has worked with data throughout his professional and personal experiences, starting out on Wall Street where he valued equity and credit derivatives. Whether tinkering with figures related to investments in funds or in player outcomes, as he did during his time as Associate General Manager of the Houston Astros, Brandon Taubman lets data lead decision making by tapping into new patterns and analytical approaches as a data scientist.
In the case of AVDA, their own data was robust but lacked systems and understanding to be able to tap into the knowledge it could share. Taubman volunteered his time and skills to help implement the right software solutions to extrapolate that data and then helped teach other volunteers and service staff how to look for the patterns and details to help them explain their spend and needs to potential donors. “Brandon found AVDA at a time when his specific skill set was much needed,” said Colter. “Brandon’s commitment with his time, talent, and treasure is greatly appreciated!
While Taubman has been an active part of the Houston community since he joined the Astros in 2013, AVDA has served the area for over 40 years, leading a mission to end family violence through education, advocacy, accountability, and responsibility. In AVDA’s own words, “AVDA believes all people have the right to live without fear of abuse, especially members of a family.” The work they do is largely made up of volunteers, like Taubman, who donate their time and skills in a variety of areas, from administrative tasks to managing special events and victim callback support. These needs are stronger than ever before with the increase in isolation brought on by COVID-19, which also spurred a rise in domestic violence throughout Texas.