Q&A: How data analytics can build a socially-conscious company

Molly Moon’s is a local legend—a thriving and beloved ice cream company with eight locations in and around Seattle, Washington, and a mission to make the world a better place. Denise Brown is the controller for Molly Moon’s, and the person most responsible for making sure that the company’s values add up on the bottom line.

“So I do all of the data work, all the accounting, for the company.” Brown says that Molly Moon’s strives to be “the raddest employer in our industry,” by constantly giving back, treating employees right, and actively participating in the local community.

So can a business really be financially, environmentally, and socially responsible while still being profitable, too? We asked Brown how Molly Moon’s does it—and how the company uses data analytics to achieve their goals.

Q: Your mission is to change the world, one scoop at a time. What are some examples of that, and how does data analysis help you work towards that mission?

A: We try to have a really positive social impact. We partner with organizations that work with the homeless or families who need food or support, we work on social justice, and are politically active. Also, from the very beginning, everything that came out of Molly Moon’s was 100% compostable, and we’re always sourcing locally. All our jobs have paid a living wage from the beginning, with fully paid healthcare for anyone who works more than 20 hours a week. And we’re doing the best we can to provide compensation that makes it easy for people to live in Seattle.

It’s important to plan for these elements from the beginning, rather than layering them in as you become more successful. If Molly couldn’t have created a business from the very start that would have allowed her to do all this, I think she would have done something different. It really was that fundamental to the creation of the company.

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