Global Pulse recently hosted an information session for United Nations colleagues to discuss and demonstrate the opportunities presented by Big Data and real-time analysis for global development and humanitarian efforts.
We were joined by Hilary Mason – Chief Data Scientist at Bitly – a technology company that enables URL shortening, sharing and real-time tracking. Hilary set out to explain what Big Data is and why data science matters, and how we have only seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to exploring its uses for social good:
Global Pulse’s lead on Strategic Communications & Partnerships, Anoush Tatevossian, then explained how Global Pulse works. She explained the reason behind our strategy to forge public-private partnerships which bring together academic institutions or private sector companies who have access to big data sources and technologies, and UN agencies who have development problems to solve can help us arrive at new insights about changes in human well-being and can be used to make better targeted use of limited resources:
While Miguel Luengo-Oroz, Global Pulse’s Chief of Research, gave an overview of the latest ongoing research projects from the Pulse Lab network, including a project called “Social Media for Social Protection” in Indonesia, and an overview of results from our recent collaboration with Orange Telecom’s “Data for Development” challenge, in which several dozen researchers analyzed anonymized mobile phone data from Ivory Coast: