Big Data's Global Nervous System, Nonprofits Using Data and more... #DataDigest

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In this week's data digest read and listen to examples of data being used for social benefit in the developing 'big data global ecosystem' and find data resources for NGOs. Also featured is the need for NGOs to disclose how they utilise private data to maintain trust.  Some advice is given on ways to help increase the use of open data by citizens and context is found to be key when analysing big data and making decisions based on it.

Nonprofits and Data
Nonprofits and Data: Looking for Inspiration
NTEN launched a Communities of Impact programme, which brings varied nonprofit professionals together to discuss ways that they can measure, learn from, and share their data.  In this npENGAGE post, Amy Sample Ward talks about the programme as well as shares some online resources providing concrete examples of nonprofits using data and talking about data one of which is this data digest!

Big Data Considerations
Disruptions: Data Without Context Tells a Misleading Story
This New York Times article describes how Google’s popular flu trend algorithm was found to be inaccurate because it focused on numbers without context when analysing Google search results. It explains why background as well as external conditions must be factored for data analysis to be relevant.

How 'big data' is changing lives
This video by Rick Smolan, author of the Human Face of Big Data, explains how the information we share online and the information companies collect is developing into a big data global nervous system. For example, he explains how babies now have a digital presence before they come into the world today, how big data can help us reduce our energy consumption and predict micro climates as well as how six graders helped double polio vaccination rates through data collection.

Open Data for Development
Making Open Data Work for Citizens: Four Lessons from Code4Kenya
Code4Kenya was recently launched in Kenya to help improve the use of open data for development.  This World Bank blog post by Christopher Finch outlines several steps that can be taken and issues considered to speed up the use of open data for development. It also provides examples of how its fellowship programme, which connects technologists with NGOs and media organisations is already developing concrete open data solutions for citizens.

Data Privacy
Data Privacy and Public Trust
In this post Lucy Bernholz questions how nonprofits provide information on their use of personal data. She says the use of a non-distribution clause or something similar can be used to ensure that nonprofits use our data responsibly. The development of Data Privacy icons is given as an example of what could be developed by the nonprofit sector.