How to assess employment impact

As­sum­ing I am seek­ing em­ploy­ment for the pur­poses of Direct Im­pact, how does one as­sess the Im­pact of a job which does not di­rectly fall un­der the 80,000 Hours recom­mended causes.

Ema­gin Example

For ex­am­ple, let’s con­sider my cur­rent em­ploy­ment as a Data Scien­tist for Ema­gin Clean Tech­nolo­gies Inc. Ema­gin cre­ates soft­ware for wa­ter man­age­ment sys­tems. The pri­mary fea­ture of the soft­ware cre­ates fore­casts for wa­ter de­mand and recom­mends con­trol sched­ules ac­cord­ingly. Other fea­tures in­clude as­set mon­i­tor­ing.

Ba­si­cally, the wa­ter in­dus­try has been un­der­stand­ably slow to adapt new anal­y­sis tech­nol­ogy to lev­er­age the tons of mon­i­tor­ing data they have ac­cu­mu­lated.

Ev­i­dence for Impactfulness

As cli­mate change in­creases the amount of ex­treme weather events and pop­u­la­tions grow, the typ­i­cal laissez-faire ap­proach to wa­ter man­age­ment be­comes un­fea­si­ble. The effect of mis­al­igned in­cen­tives be­comes catas­trophic, as shown by the droughts in Cal­ifor­nia and South Africa. Hav­ing ac­cessible an­a­lyt­ics al­lows for a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of the sys­tem be­ing ex­am­ined. Thus, as­sum­ing poli­ti­cal will, in­cen­tives can be re­struc­tured, plans/​in­vest­ments can be made and hu­man suffer­ing miti­gated.

Ev­i­dence against Impactfulness

There may be other forms of re­ac­tive cli­mate change miti­ga­tion which are more im­pact­ful? The effects of cli­mate change on mu­ni­ci­pal­ities who can buy the soft­ware are min­i­mal com­pare to other causes? The skill set re­quired to com­plete this work is eas­ily trans­ferred to a differ­ent, more im­pact­ful do­main?