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  • Big data for development

Image credit: Intel Free Press

The volume and variety of digital data have grown in recent years, as have analytics capacities — a phenomenon dubbed ‘big data’. What drives the promise of big data, what are the risks and criticisms, and how can development benefit from the ‘data revolution’?
 
This Spotlight presents an in-depth analysis including opinions, facts and figures, and key resources. It features views on the debate by Sanjana Hattotuwa, human rights activist, TED fellow and founder of citizen-journalism initiative Groundviews, and Michail Skaliotis and Ceri Thompson, leading experts on statistics and big data at Eurostat, the European Commission’s statistical division.  
 
It includes podcast interviews with Alex `Sandy’ Pentland, director of MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory and Media Lab Entrepreneurship Program; Patrick Ball, executive director of the Human Rights Data Analysis Group; and Philipp Schönrock, director of development think-tank CEPEI.