We’ve been saying the new, new thing is big data. According to the NYT, the US government is getting behind big data in a big way. The question we have is how to mobilize this momentum for the BOP in our countries.
So far there have been only scattered examples of the potential of mining social media. Last year HP Labs researchers used Twitter data to accurately predict box office revenues of Hollywood movies. In August, the National Science Foundation approved funds for research in using social media like Twitter and Facebook to assess earthquake damage in real time.
The accessibility and computerization of huge databases has already begun to spur the development of new statistical techniques and new software to manage data sets with trillions of entries or more.
“Big data allows one to move beyond inference and statistical significance and move toward meaningful and accurate analyses,” said Norman Nie, a political scientist who was a pioneering developer of statistical tools for social scientists and who recently formed a new company, Revolution Analytics, to develop software for the analysis of immense data sets.