What can big data contribute to development?

Posted on May 16, 2015  /  0 Comments

Audience at Data for Development session at ICTD 2015

Audience at Data for Development session at ICTD 2015

Hernan Galperin from DIRSI had organized a session entitled Data for development: the good, the bad and the ugly. Martin Hilbert was originally featured as the star speaker who would tell the audience about the wonders of big data. Well, he did not turn up. So it was left to LIRNEasia, where we actually get our hands dirty analyzing big data of relevance to our primary clients, the poor of the developing world, to talk about big data.

The slides are here.

I was preceded by two presentations from our sister organizations in Latin America and Africa which critiqued the quality of data and analysis by organizations such as the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI). Of all the interesting questions that were received, I was most attracted by the question on biases of different kinds of data. My answer was that all data are incomplete and inaccurate even big data that everyone is hyperventilating about. The whole point is that we should be aware of the limitations and biases of the data.

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