Social Progress Index, Data Maps, Open Data and Big Data Trends - #DataDigest

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This week the call for data measurement in the social sector heightens with the proposition of a Social Progress Index and ways that NGOs can use data maps to increase effectiveness are explained. The need for open data from NGOs is reiterated, while the way philanthropy has promoted the global Open Government Partnership is explained. 5 trending big data technologies are also identified.

Data Measurement
Philanthrocapitalists propose a Social Progress Index
Through examining the renewed importance of measurement in the world of philanthropy and development, Tom Paulson points to the proposition of a Social Progress Index at the recent Skoll World Forum. He explains however, why despite the increased amount of data at our exposure problems with measuring social progress persists. This index aims to go beyond economic measurement to also measure access to food, shelter, education, healthcare, economic opportunity and environmental stability in conjunction, and in comparison, with GDP.

Data Maps
How NGOs Are Using Data Maps to Communicate Problems
In this Huffington post, Andrew Turner talks about how NGOs can increase effectiveness by accessing, analysing, visualizing and collaborating around data. He says that their international reach and abundance of data makes using data analysis and mapping technologies crucial. He identifies the efforts of The World Wildlife Fund and the UNEP/GRID-Arendal's OCEANIDS project as good examples of this.

Open Data for Social Change
We Need Open Data To Change The World
In this post Lucy Bernholz describes how sharing open data in the social sector can increase impact. For example, she talks about how The Awesome Foundation connects funders with ideas in countries around the world and  CrisisCommons’ network of individuals and system for sharing open data to respond in times of crisis. She says that nonprofits should be using their data for social purposes by using opt in as their standard, though should by default share as much data as they can.

Big Data
Big Data Right Now: Five Trendy Open Source Technologies
In this TechCrunch post Tim Gasper points to estimates of $232 billion spend over a 5 year period on big data technology. He says that there are over 250K viable open source technologies on the market today and identifies 5 of them that are currently trending while pointing to their advantages.

Philanthropy & Open Government Data
Philanthropy Can Catalyze an Open Government Movement
Through explaining how a donor collaborative led to the creation of the Open Government Partnership Martin Tisne explains how philanthropic funding can catalyze and help build momentum for complex and global initiatives such as this. He looks at the way it is now being used to help not only innovate but also build and develop standards such as The Open Data Charter (ODC) from the bottom up and with the inclusion of civil society.