A Call for Data Integrity to Shape the Future of Inclusive AI

A Call for Data Integrity to Shape the Future of Inclusive AI

Equity Quotient was born out of a passion to overcome the risk of racial and gender bias in Artificial Intelligence (AI) models and the adverse impact they can create.

What started as an idea two years ago, has evolved into a necessary voice for data integrity across the existential question of what is the role of AI in society, especially in the wake of the SCOTUS affirmative action ruling. Diversity is foundational to all healthy ecosystems, particularly organizations that require next-generation talent, robust supplier portfolios, and a sustainable customer base. We believe in the power of data, if leveraged responsibly, to help leaders make more informed decisions on how to move our economy forward, inclusive of all the people that drive it. 

Getting AI right, and stakeholder-related decisions more broadly, is the most significant challenge and opportunity now facing organizational leaders. At the heart of that mandate is data: the availability of rich stakeholder-related data, the efficacy of data-feeding systems and training models, and data outputs that automate workflows and inevitably impact people directly or indirectly. A myriad of factors makes this overwhelmingly difficult: 1) historical data sets are fraught with bias challenges, 2) the volumes of data needed are massive, 3) the complexity of AI-related algorithms is extremely complex and mostly opaque, 4) the skills required to do all of this well are very advanced and impossible to find, and 5) even if you get all of that right, everything is continuously changing and can go “off the rails” at any point despite the best efforts and intentions.

With this in mind, our goal with Equity Quotient is to create a robust data platform leveraging the rich socioeconomic data now available from public and private sources to create a productized, dynamic way of helping companies to leverage AI and drive the efficacy of their AI-based systems. Our platform creates a detailed digital “picture” of the world in which a company operates–i.e., the population by micro-region from a demographic and socioeconomic standpoint. Ultimately, Equity Quotient provides an “outside-in” lens for AI-based decisions to help organizations determine where their systems are generating outputs that deviate from the way their “world” looks in both positive and negative ways. 

With all of this said, data is serious business to our Equity Quotient team. We understand that customers are relying on our data and insights to make some of the most mission-critical decisions facing their organization, so we are applying the best people, processes, and technology to everything we do.

A Solution Built with Intention

Equity Quotient is a data and analytics SaaS solution. Our AI-powered stakeholder intelligence platform includes the following components.

1. Big Data Platform

The Equity Quotient data and engineering team has built a big data platform leveraging the most advanced cloud-based technologies purpose-built and proven to scale for the largest enterprises. Our data has been sourced from over a dozen of data.gov sources, such as the U.S. Census, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Housing Mortgage Disclosure Act, Centers for Disease Control, and more. While this data is free and open to the public on various federal agency sites, it is extremely complex and expensive to extract, transform, and load. It is also extremely complex and expensive to integrate into a purpose-built, unified platform to inform leaders on key decisions across all of their stakeholder portfolios (workforce, suppliers, customers, and community). Beyond data.gov sources, the Equity Quotient team has incorporated private company sources, such as Zillow, and will be expanding our core data platform that is available to all customers over time based on what we learn through our R&D efforts and based on feedback from our customers. A detailed overview of our sources and feeds is available upon request for customers.

2. AI-powered Analytics

Raw data is pure information. The key to its value is to transform it into an accessible picture that allows leaders to digest the landscape and take strategic action. Our team at Equity Quotient comes to this problem with a strong point of view on what data is relevant for organizational leaders, the questions they want and need to ask of the data, and an analytic approach that can help inform and automate the entire decision-making process. 

One foundational component of our analytic strategy is anchored in the concept of Demographic Alignment, or the ability to objectively measure how an organization’s stakeholder portfolios–their employees, suppliers, and customers–align demographically to the surrounding communities where they operate. This measurement can help organizations determine if they face increased risk based on their relationships with their stakeholders and evaluate how that alignment evolves. It also enables organizations to benchmark themselves against industry and/or geographic peers. Lastly and importantly, Equity Quotient’s Demographic Alignment analytics provide customers with the flexibility they need to configure their relevant “denominator” based on their unique geo, industry, maturity, competitive landscape, and other relevant factors.

3. Machine Learning

Demographic Alignment is only one of the tools within Equity Quotient’s AI-powered analytics kit. By harnessing the power of emerging AI-related capabilities, Equity Quotient stands at the forefront of leveraging technology to drive positive change. The team is leveraging natural language processing (NLP), machine learning (ML), and artificial intelligence (AI) on top of Equity Quotient’s large language model (LLM) to turbo-charge its capabilities across the platform. Our innovative creation of a large language model through natural language processing, combined with the use of machine learning to achieve predictive modeling, interactive visualization, and personalized recommendations, will set us apart in the market. Adverse stakeholder impact is imposing significant risks to our economy and society as AI models are proliferating and making a myriad of decisions regarding the workforce, suppliers, customers, and the broader marketplace of citizens/consumers. These capabilities will empower organizations to make data-driven decisions that manage the risk of adverse stakeholder impact while achieving more equitable, sustainable growth.

4. Advanced Expertise

The tough challenges and complex solution Equity Quotient provides made it imperative we source the best talent from a wide variety of backgrounds. Our team includes tenured experts from a broad collection of business/industry, technical, legal/regulatory, and social impact careers that have come together to achieve something hard but important. We are excited about the opportunity to combine our collective superpowers to achieve a platform with the power to help businesses grow while opening our broader economy to provide greater access to opportunity for everyone. business requirements, regulatory mandates, ESG scoring models and impact investment requirements, government data logistics, big data analytics platforms built for consumer use cases.

Our Guiding Data Principles

Equity Quotient’s guiding principles anchor our team as we relentlessly focus on what is required to ensure the highest level of efficacy, impact, and value for our customers.

1. Objective

Equity Quotient’s stakeholder intelligence is powered by a portfolio of data sources from various areas. We source data from over 15 public sources to provide unprecedented visibility into the socio-economic landscape where companies operate. Meanwhile, the platform is also committed to enabling organizations to intersect that data with data from enterprise systems (HR, Procurement, CRM, etc.). This creates a clear objective view of how an organization’s stakeholders compare in the communities where they operate.

2. Accurate

All of our data sources are widely vetted. Starting with US Government data from the Census, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and more, we have assembled a rich data platform from over a dozen sources vetted by the Federal government. As we evolve our platform to include new data sources (including 1st party data gathered by Equity Quotient) we will relentlessly focus on ensuring the integrity of the platform prioritizing the freshness, richness, and reliability of the data. We will also be transparent about where there might be a margin for error and what that range might be. Furthermore, we will continuously engage with advanced leaders in data integrity to evaluate all aspects of our integrated data platform, including reviews of individual sources, our technical approaches for extraction, transformation, and load (ETL), and all other aspects of our architecture that might impose risk to efficacy.

3. Accessible

While the data, technology, and challenges we’re addressing are complex, our commitment is to provide a solution that is accessible to a wide range of interested stakeholders. Toward that end, our UX and the content and insights presented through our solution will be purpose-built for users that may or may not have advanced business, technical, and or socioeconomic expertise. Equity Quotient’s goal is to provide dashboards that are clear and can be easily understood by a myriad of users to gain quick insights. We are also committed to taking users on a journey of discovery as they explore their organization and its stakeholders, including their workforce, suppliers, customers, and surrounding communities where they operate.

4. Smart

We believe data should work harder for us and be inclusive of every stakeholder. Legacy databases are very disparate, complicated, and expensive to access. Additionally, the data, technology, and domain expertise required to address exploding regulatory mandates, increasing pressure from markets, and growth objectives are elusive and expensive to build in-house. Equity Quotient is harnessing AI and leveraging ML to integrate these various, hard-to-digest data systems so that leaders can make more informed decisions on how to drive growth without the barrier of an exorbitant investment. We’re building this product with data sets so all people – e.g. veterans, formerly incarcerated individuals, under-resourced demographics – are better included in the economy.

5. Actionable

Data is a means to an end. Companies are looking for data that can help them drive change by taking action that will ultimately catalyze growth, proactively manage risk, and automate compliance reporting. Beyond providing a powerful platform for exploration and discovery, Equity Quotient is committed to offering capabilities customers can use to seamlessly integrate our data and insights into the operational DNA of an organization. We will provide the ability to integrate data into the core platform to achieve AI-powered analytics and feed data and insights back into mission-critical systems for reporting and other purposes. Furthermore, Equity Quotient will enable customers to augment data in their core tenant by collecting additional data from stakeholders while also establishing and tracking goals over time.

Some examples of applications include:

  • Workforce diversity initiatives and workforce development investments
  • Dedicated supplier diversity programs
  • Economic development investment evaluation and impact tracking
  • Regulatory reporting (e.g., SEC filings, FAIR Lending/CRA reports, IRS/CMS.gov health equity mandates)
  • New market growth strategic planning
  • Customer engagement success analytics
  • Application funnel analysis (e.g., mortgages, university admissions, talent pipelines)

Join us in shaping a thriving economy powered by data and the people that drive it

We’ve relished every bit of our journey to build an innovative stakeholder intelligence platform with the power to change the game for organizations and our socioeconomic landscape more broadly. Our team has accomplished so much, but we’re even more excited about what’s yet to come. You’ll see the Equity Quotient platform continuously evolve with additional data, expanded functionality, and new ways to gain value for your organization across a myriad of mission-critical use cases. 

Please reach out early and often with good and bad feedback, ideas for innovation, and what you need to succeed and grow. We’re so grateful you’re joining us in our mission to humanize data and catalyze growth.