Global Pulse Recognized as 2013 Computerworld Honors Laureate

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Washington, DC, 4 June 2012 – UN Global Pulse has been named by the Computerworld Honors Program as a 2013 Laureate.  The program, founded in 1988 by International Data Group (IDG) and celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, is the longest running award program to honor individuals and organizations using information technology to promote social, economic and educational change.

Global Pulse was recognized for its work on “Big data & unemployment through the lens of social media” which was conducted in partnership with SAS.

The project conducted sentiment analysis of social media chatter to identify trends related to unemployment increases. 500,000 blogs, forums and news sites as well as two years of social media data from the US and Ireland were analyzed for references to unemployment and coping mechanisms. By analyzing sentiment, mood scores and conversation volume were with official unemployment statistics, finding that upticks in patterns related to negative moods indicated spikes in unemployment. Furthermore, the analysis revealed that increased online discourse about cutting back on groceries, increasing use of public transportation and downgrading one’s automobile could also be used to predict an unemployment spike.

In 2012, the same methodology was applied by SAS and Global Pulse in a similar project in Indonesia – through Pulse Lab Jakarta – to explore how analysis of online conversation about food prices, fuel prices and unemployment could support faster, better targeting of national social protection programs. In this exercise, SAS Text Analytics was used to uncover key themes related to coping with economic stress, perform content categorization and text analytic model scoring to assign metric to mood state dimensions. Social media data was then correlated with macroeconomic and unemployment metrics. Longitudinal analytical models and algorithms were used to leading and lagging indicators of trends such as inflation and unemployment. The results will be published in the coming months.

This year’s Computerworld’s Honors Program laureates include United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), awarded for driving changes to Economic Development through IT. At the award gala – held at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C. on June 3, 2013 – laureates were publicly recognized and their case studies formally included in the program’s archives. During the ceremony, the finalists and winners of the 21st Century Achievement Award, selected amongst the laureates in each section, were announced.



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Can a country’s online “mood” predict unemployment spikes?

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