Big data for social impact

Big data is a hot topic but how we can use the data for social impact? This article in DevEx, “Solving the data conundrum: How to leverage tech and ‘big data’ for impact” brings to light how social impact organizations can benefit and help their organization with the big data challenge.

For example, humanitarian data is important but the insights from the data need to be accessed and gleaned in real-time rather than at a future date. Time is crucial so having access to data such as how much funding organizations are receiving can help others understand the necessity of giving to needed projects.

Some key suggestions from the article provides a few guidelines:

  1. Learn how to ask the right questions
  2. Have clearly defined goals

These two points can be applied to any organization/business but it is just as important for social impact organizations. Why? The goal will help you ask the questions about what data is needed or what is being done to help certain countries who need funding for building schools or relief aid.

Some other key tips include: building effective and easy to use technology platform and collaborating to ensure that data collection and storage is streamlined. Many tech companies are building real time analytics dashboards to allow their customers to extract data quickly to drive decisions. The same applies to social impact organizations; people need to be empowered to quickly access anytime and anywhere the data.

However, this can only happen when all organization stakeholders agree upon how data is collected and stored. The best way to do this strategically and effectively is to bring key individuals together and come up with a plan to implement data collection and storage and communicate it to all individuals with access.

Big data is a crucial source of information for all organizations and empowering people to understand its role, its purpose and how it’s being used can help streamline the efforts for maximum impact.

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