“Global Pulse arose from the very pointed recognition that there’s a need for real-time
information,” said UN Strategic Communications and Partnership Officer Anoush
Tatevossian. “The initiative examines how new types of data can strengthen
official statistics on how global crises affect people. Using a powerful new
data source – global social media – SAS and UN Global Pulse demonstrated how
advanced analytics can provide real-time insights for policymakers and improve
the ability to manage disruptive events.”
Global Pulse used SAS Social Media Analytics and SAS Text Analytics to dig into data from 500,000 blogs, forums, and news sites in the US and Ireland. SAS compared mood scores and conversation volume with official unemployment statistics to see if changes in these measures were indicators of spikes in unemployment.
Collecting online data from social media channels can provide insight into how people are
coping with crises. Global Pulse’s analysis revealed that increased chatter about cutting back on groceries, increasing use of public transportation and downgrading one’s automobile represent leading, indicators of an unemployment spike.
After a spike, surges in social media conversations about such topics as canceled vacations, reduced health care spending, and foreclosures or evictions shed light on lagging economic effects.
“This kind of information is invaluable to policymakers trying to mitigate the negative effects of increased unemployment,” said Tatevossian.
In 2013, the Computerworld Honors program recognized 267 organizations using big
data and analytics for social good. Global Pulse was recognized in the Emerging
Technology category. The Computerworld Honors program, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, is the longest running award program to honor individuals and organizations using information technology to promote social, economic and educational change.
Read more about how Global Pulse uses SAS in this interview o Robert Kirkpatrick,
Director of Global Pulse, by SAS Executive Vice President Mikael Hagstrom: http://www.sas.com/news/feature/how-can-tweets-affect-policy-decisions.html
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