Introducing mobile big data

“Data is the lifeblood of decision-making and the raw material for accountability. Without high-quality data providing the right information on the right things at the right time, designing, monitoring and evaluating effective policies becomes almost impossible” — United Nations, IEAG on a Data Revolution, A World that Counts, 2014.

Every day, mobile networks generate enormous volumes of data, as a consequence of the normal operational use of phone services. By combining this data with other sources of information and then analysing patterns and flows, mobile operators can provide public agencies and NGOs with unique insights and powerful decision support tools. This data-driven output can assist decision making across a wide range of problems – from mitigating pollution, to determining how to respond to natural disasters and epidemics.

To find out more about the characteristics of mobile big data, the insights that can be generated from it, and the range of analyses and outputs that can be provided by operators visit the ‘Technical Considerations’ section, where you can find an infographic, video and paper.

Being a custodian of this data is a responsibility the mobile industry takes very seriously. The responsible use of data is the foundation of all Big Data for Social Good (BD4SG) initiatives. Visit the ‘Policy and Regulation’ section of the Toolkit to read about the considerations that are essential for protecting privacy and managing ethical issues.