Big Data at the UN

by Angela Guess

An article on UN.org highlights the use of Big Data (or the potential uses) at the United Nations. The article begins, “The era of ‘Big Data’ presents the United Nations with an historic opportunity to better support and protect populations through analysis of digital information, according to a new report launched today at UN Headquarters in New York. Produced by UN Global Pulse, the report – Big Data for Development: Opportunities and Challenges – explores how data from social media and other sources can yield information about population well-being, including responses to job losses, changing food prices and other economic indicators.”

Robert C. Orr, the Assistant Secretary-General for Policy and Planning stated, “Global Pulse’s mission is to help us seize this historic opportunity to improve how we combat hunger, poverty and disease – getting there, however, requires first building awareness of the opportunity in both the big data community and the development community, forming strategic partnerships, developing innovative approaches, and demonstrating their potential to change outcomes… Today’s new whitepaper is a critical milestone in this journey. As you will hear, there is no longer any question of whether or when data science will be applicable to the work of the United Nations. It’s about how.”

Read more here.

photo credit: UN

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