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Guidance for Incorporating Big Data into Humanitarian Operations

December 06, 2016 by Katie Whipkey, Andrej Verity

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Humanitarian organisations should begin the process now of understanding what big data is, what its analysis can yield answers to, and how and when to use it. This document has been created to provide a broad overview of big data usage in humanitarian organisations and general guidance on how organisations can incorporate it into operations. It describes big data and its role within the humanitarian sector, offers a categorisation of the large variety of big data types, highlights benefits and risks of incorporating big data into response, identifies policy and ethical considerations for the organisation, and provides example materials organisations can use when starting the process of in-corporating big data. The goal is to create dialogue and generate structure in the conversation among decision makers, data scientists, and volunteers and technical communities.