MIS4596 – Tony Messina – Section 002 – Spring 2016

Big data’s big role in humanitarian aid

cw-feb2016-big-data-rescue-100640164-primary.idge When it comes to Big Data and Analytics most people think about using that data from a business perspective. Interestingly enough, the article I read talks about several projects that have started using big data and analytics for a humanitarian cause. The article describes how the The Swedish Migration Board was able to predict an influx of immigrants from 2,500 a month to 10,000 a month using big data and analytics. The article also describes how using big data from social media posts to predict conflict and unrest in certain areas. The article goes into more description of the possible outcomes for theses projects that would help benefit the communities around the world. Unfortunately, having systems that analyze big data are expensive and the cost are currently limiting the full potential of these projects. If these projects are able to get the required funding, it will be interesting to see if the theories do in fact pan out and make a positive impact on the world.

One Response to Big data’s big role in humanitarian aid

  • Using big data for humanitarian aid could have an interesting impact on the world of charities/non-profits.
    If using big data to help solve/prevent problems in countries that need help becomes a larger force in the world, it will be interesting to see what companies and donors pop up.
    The large upfront costs for the systems and analysts seem like a large challenge to overcome for a field that does not quickly show economic returns. But similar to Bill Gates and his charity founded to fight diseases, I could see other tech billionaires starting up non-proft data-centric businesses with the sole purpose of humanitarian aid. Leasing to smaller charities, running their own research, and other areas of support would be enabled by charities similar to that.
    It’s an interesting future to think about. And a good way for the tech industry to get involved in humanitarian work that doesn’t involve medical help or infrastructure.

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