We’ve always said that we’re all about data. We want to power the data behind any big decision that impacts the world… social data, if you may. The Census is the only reference point for most data interpretations to measure quality of life indicators in the country. We asked ourselves – why does the Census happen just ONCE in TEN years? In today’s connected world, where a recent Arnab Goswami interview resulted in 2 million tweets in the space of an hour, there had to be a better method.
Over the past couple of months we realized that while citizen data is a very crucial tool to verify data, we also needed data from other sources to collect holistic information that enabled communities to make the best decisions. Why not empower youth in the communities with low cost smartphones and make them our feet on the ground? In the past few months, we’ve been building large-scale partnerships with NGOs and youth organizations that allow us to reach the remotest parts of the country. Our own field network of youth empowered with low cost smartphones scattered around the country are now acting as human sensors to continuously measure quality of life indicators for our partners.
Okay, maybe we’ve figured out how to crack the data collection problem. But numbers mean nothing unless they give you insights. And it was with this thought that we set up our data station. For the past few months, we’ve been accumulating open and existing social data around the biggest problems we face in our communities today, ranging from public health to education. The station builds a base using existing social data sources, then enriches this using the real time data we collect through different channels at SocialCops. All this data is crunched, visualized and made into quick portable widgets. Wouldn’t it be cool if every single journalist and blogger that needed social data could just visit our data station, play with data, add in streams of information they’d like to analyze and create a custom widget that they could embed onto their blogs and online articles?
We want to power the social data in the world. We believe that the best way to do it is to leverage on-ground networks to empower communities by bridging the information gap. And we’ll do whatever it takes – drones, Google Glasses, bots – the sky is the limit.