Don’t most companies have the ability to analyze their own data?

Numerous firms employ large numbers of first rate data scientists, but these researchers must spend much of their time working on specific questions of direct interest to the company. They often also contribute to the public good, and sometimes even publish in scholarly journals when the company approves of their results, but companies have a legal responsibility to pursue their private interest and maximize stockholder value, and so employees understandably stay focused on those goals. In contrast, the freedom independent academics have to engage with the scientific community without pre-publication approval, and with far more control over questions they take on, makes the pursuit of the public good their primary goal. This is why Social Science One’s model is so important.