Data for Good is a report produced by Nesta, targeting to explore the ways in which big and open data can be used for the common good. Although this study does not offer specific answers to the ways in which big data could be used as a tool to promote common good, it offers an opportunity for collecting and presenting a variety of experiences. These would be very useful for others interested in exploring the opportunities of big data, providing an insight on what could be done in the future.
One of the key findings of this report is the fact that in a social media analysis of tweets related to the Somerset Floods, Demos found that 39,000 tweets were related to social action. Moreover, One of the main tools investigated in this project is Civic Dashboard. This tools offers the opportunity to mine data from Citizens Advice (CAB) consultations to understand emerging social issues in the UK.
New ways of capturing, sharing and analyzing data have the potential to transform how community and voluntary sector organizations work and how social action happens. However, while analyzing and using data is core to how some of the world’ s fastest growing businesses understand their customers and develop new products and services, civil society organizations are still some way off from making the most of this potential.
It is important for the report to notice that:
Over the last 12 months Nesta has grant funded a number of research projects that explore two dimensions of how big and open data can be used for the common good. Firstly, how it can be used by charities to develop better products and services and secondly, how it can help those interested in civil society better understand social action and civil society activity.