Data Collaboratives: exchanging data to create public value across Latin America and the Caribbean

Stefaan Verhulst, Andrew Young and Prianka Srinivasan at IADB’s Abierto al Publico: “Data is playing an ever-increasing role in bolstering businesses across Latin America – and the rest of the word. In Brazil, Mexico and Colombia alone, the revenue from Big Data is calculated at more than US$603.7 million, a market that is only set to increase as more companies across Latin America and the Caribbean embrace data-driven strategies to enhance their bottom-line. Brazilian banking giant Itau plans to create six data centers across the country, and already uses data collected from consumers online to improve cross-selling techniques and streamline their investments. Data from web-clicks, social media profiles, and telecommunication services is fueling a new generation of entrepreneurs keen to make big dollars from big data.

What if this same data could be used not just to improve business, but to improve the collective well-being of our communities, public spaces, and cities? Analysis of social media data can offer powerful insights to city officials into public trends and movements to better plan infrastructure and policies. Public health officials and humanitarian workers can use mobile phone data to, for instance, map human mobility and better target their interventions. By repurposing the data collected by companies for their business interests, governments, international organizations and NGOs can leverage big data insights for the greater public good.

Key question is thus: How to unlock useful data collected by corporations in a responsible manner and ensure its vast potential does not go to waste?

Data Collaboratives” are emerging as a possible answer. Data collaboratives are a new type of public-private partnerships aimed at creating public value by exchanging data across sectors.

Research conducted by the GovLab finds that Data Collaboratives offer several potential benefits across a number of sectors, including humanitarian and anti-poverty efforts, urban planning, natural resource stewardship, health, and disaster management. As a greater number of companies in Latin America look to data to spur business interests, our research suggests that some companies are also sharing and collaborating around data to confront some of society’s most pressing problems.

Consider the following Data Collaboratives that seek to enhance…(More)”