The Power of Big Data & Global Pulse Research (VIDEO)

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How do you find indicators for changes human well-being in “big data”? How do you know which “digital signals” are relevant enough to warrant further investigation? These questions are at the core of Global Pulse’s research.

The video below, from Global Pulse’s 8 November briefing to the UN General Assembly, provides a succinct overview of five research projects we completed with our partners (Crimson Hexagon, Jana, PriceStats, SAS Institute, the Complex Systems Institute of Paris Ile-de-France & IFRIS) in 2011.

Some of the projects explored ways to collect high frequency data. For example, mobile phones provide a powerful platform to reach people and to get real-time feedback directly from communities. Other projects explored ways to mine, aggregate and analyze online data—such as food prices or news trends—in real time. And two looked specifically at analyzing and correlating social media data – Twitter and blogs – with official data sets related to unemployment and food prices.

Click here to read more about the five research projects, and to download white papers on the analytical methodologies behind them.

This research is only possible by building upon the progress and innovations happening across the global ecosystem of digital data today. As a primer for our audience on 8 November, the event opened with a presentation on the potential of big data, and the opportunities abound for putting this new class of digital data to work for the public good.

Dr. Andreas Weigend, former Chief Data Scientist for, and Silicon Valley executive, entrepreneur and marketing specialist Peter Hirshberg, gave an introductory presentation offering a range of examples and visualizations of how Real-Time, or Big Data, can augment and improve decision making in the 21st century. Watch their full presentation below:

And finally, an edited version of the full 1.5 hour event — including highlights from the keynote address by Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on the importance of bringing the UN’s work into the digital age, and a summary of Global Pulse’s work in 2011 — can be viewed here:


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News, thoughts and ideas about big data and AI, data privacy and ethics from across the Pulse Lab Network. Read more on the blog.

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