Manufacturing Trends

THE SCIENCES THAT IMPROVE LIVES IN THE Rich-Data, Poor-Information World

THE SCIENCES THAT IMPROVE LIVES IN THE Rich-Data, Poor-Information World
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Article by: Asst.Prof. Suwan Juntiwasarakij, Ph.D., MEGA Tech Senior Editor

THE SCIENCES THAT IMPROVE LIVES IN THE Rich-Data, Poor-Information World
Figure 1: Potential applications delivered by big data sciences
Source: IOM’s GMDAC 2017

In digital age, “data rich, information poor” has become the defining description for private and public sectors that have invested heavily in technology. Digital technology provides organizations with abundant data, but having data is not the same thing as having the critical quality information and spending money on technology does not automatically improve quality. This issue offers how to turn abundant mobile data into opportunity to make social impact.

MOBILE BIG DATA

Mobile big data offers an opportunity to create widespread social impact in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Governments and development agencies are seeking new ways to improve how they design, implement, and monitor projects through harnessing more accurate, timely, and accessible information. The framework illustrate the figure below is arranged into five themes which represent policy priority area, each supported by a calculation engine that assesses potential MDB impacts. The framework is also supported by data available from an emerging body of research into MDB inventions, based on responsible and transparent use of mobile network data compliant with usage principles and regulations.

OPPORTUNITY FOR SOCIAL IMPACT

According to PwC’s analysis, over 150 million people across advanced and emerging countries could be positively impacted by the benefits of MBD solutions on project effectiveness over the next five years. Many people’s lives will be reached by numerous MBD-supported impacts across activities ranging from pollution and congestion management to emergency relief and access to essential services. There is a world of opportunity.

Opportunity for Cities, Infrastructure and Economic Growth

The opportunity lies in extending coverage of essential health services. 60 million people across the 41 most affected countries could have better access to healthcare due to the more informed infrastructure planning via MBD solutions targeting health facility deployment planning.

THE SCIENCES THAT IMPROVE LIVES IN THE Rich-Data, Poor-Information World
Figure 2: Mobile big data impact assessment framework
Source: PwC

Mobile location data can be used to provide insights on population density and seasonal migration patterns to inform better placement and deployment of healthcare facilities, therefore increasing population’s access to healthcare. When aggregated mobile location data is combined with population growth forecasts, health facility data and disease burden data, the location of health facilities can be optimized for access to more of the population. MBD-enabled insights will be of direct relevance to health facility planners in need of more timely and reliable data on population movements and location.

Opportunity in Climate Change and Environment

The opportunity lies in reducing air pollution in major cities. An estimated 120,000 lives could be saved as result of better-informed traffic restriction measures to limit air pollution across the cities listed in the figure below. These response measures could reduce impacts of air pollution on cardiovascular and respiratory disease, and cancers across cities in Asia, Latin, and Europe.

THE SCIENCES THAT IMPROVE LIVES IN THE Rich-Data, Poor-Information World
Figure 3: Most impacted countries where MBD-supported initiatives could improve health care coverage
Source: PwC analysis

Mobility insights from aggregated and anonymized calling patterns, SMS and data, are highly correlated (upto 94%) with actual observed traffic and can be used to provide estimates of traffic in real-time using data from the mobile network. This improves the ability of city authorities to inform short-term policy measures such as dynamic traffic management in city centers, as well as enrich the quality of long-term transport planning. Access to the measurement of traffic and congestion in real time supports government authorities to responds to excessive levels of air pollutants that can be associated with mobility.

THE SCIENCES THAT IMPROVE LIVES IN THE Rich-Data, Poor-Information World
Figure 4: Most populous cities exposed to high levels of air pollution
Source: PwC analysis

Opportunity for Managing Disaster

The opportunity lies in responding effectively to natural disasters. By 2025 over 25,000 additional lives could be saved from natural disasters in major at-risk countries, because of MBD-enabled solutions to aid quicker evacuation from dangerous areas, also safeguarding thousands from injury and saving US$ 1.9 billion of movable assets from damage.

THE SCIENCES THAT IMPROVE LIVES IN THE Rich-Data, Poor-Information World
Figure 5: Countries with largest population at risk to natural disasters where MDB can make an im pact
Source: PwC analysis

Opportunity for Citizen Inclusion

The opportunity lies in financial services. Despite years of financial services innovation, there are still 1.7 billion adults around the world who remain unbanked, that is they are not served by a financial institution. Although traditional, digital, and mobile-enabled financial services exist in many countries, in general uptake remains low among the poor partly due to lack of flexibility, confidence, awareness, and trust in such service.

THE SCIENCES THAT IMPROVE LIVES IN THE Rich-Data, Poor-Information World
Figure 6: Countries with unbanked adult populations that MDB could better support
Source: PwC analysis

MBD interventions could support 70 million more adults to use financial services over the next five years. This would be equivalent to a further 8% reduction in the portion of unbanked population in target countries that span across Africa, Asia, and Latin America.