Global citizenship and the role of technology

Is big data analytics fundamental for transforming the world?

Businesses taking action to expand and enrich their social responsibilities. Public sector agencies improving the lives of citizens. These are some of the stories we hear from customers and colleagues around the world that inspire us. And these are the stories we wish to share with you in this issue of Intelligence Quarterly — stories that bring to life the many ways analytics helps make our world a better place to live.

Turn on the news today, and — more often than not — you will hear stories of disease, abuse, poverty and war. The financial news is not much different, although the increasing use of behavioral economics offers some hope. When businesses can better understand — and meet — customer motives and expectations, everyone wins.

We often hear that growth is the answer to all our problems. However, growth alone will not suffice. As behavioral economics develop, we need “inclusive growth,” where everyone can play a part and all sectors can benefit.

We know a brighter future is possible for all. As the following stories illustrate, analytics is a powerful technology that can be used to improve our world. The global family needs us now more than ever, and technology has a role to play in global citizenship. Just consider:

Analytics is a powerful technology that can be used to improve our world.
  • In New Zealand, the Ministry of Social Development is using analytics as a tool for transformation, to help struggling young people create a better future. This is a perfect example of inclusive growth: It helps the individual, the society and the economy alike. Read how better targeting empowers welfare beneficiaries with confidence and life skills, and reduces the cycle of long-term benefit dependency.
  • After Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines, analytics helped aid workers prioritize assistance levels and supply distribution. Learn more about how the International Organization for Migration incorporated social media data with geographic and real-time data to find higher concentrations of diarrhea and fever, and to discover that the greatest needs in Guiuan were for antibiotics and fuel for hospital generators.
  • In France, job seekers who collect unemployment benefits are receiving assistance that is customized to their unique situations. See Page 15 to learn how analytics has helped empower local service branches to design personalized pathways to employment, helping them meet statewide quality and consistency standards and goals.
  • Five inspiring examples of how health care organizations are changing the way we look at health on a global scale. One enables early intervention and reduces hospital stays for veterans in Australia. Another pools patient information worldwide to expedite medical research. And yet another has saved hundreds of lives in North Carolina thanks to analytics, with the potential to save even more.

Here at SAS, we are committed to helping organizations use data for good. Big data must be used to close the gap between perception and mathematical truth. And this can only be done with analytics.

Another way to become global citizens and agents of change in our communities is to spread the positive stories of disruptive technologies improving society.

To that end, our work here at SAS has never been more important. As we remain focused on our work at hand, I am confident that we will not only contribute to inclusive growth, but also to the role big data analytics will play in improving the lives of those around us.

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