How to Use Big Data to Promote Social Progress

Big data is frequently associated with business improvement, but it also has significant potential for social good. Big data is commonly associated with targeted marketing and other corporate activities, but it can also be used to improve society.

Throughout history, people have criticized the destructive potential of technology, but in the right hands, it can have the opposite effect. This is the case with large data sets. It is far more productive to consider how to use big data for good, despite the fact that it is easy to criticize its potential misuse.

Here are five ways we can and do leverage the power of big data for social progress.


The analysis of big data can aid in preventing disease outbreaks. By collecting and analyzing data on outbreak patterns, medical professionals may be able to prevent the spread of diseases. If you believe this to be implausible, you may be surprised to learn that the coronavirus has already exhibited this behavior.

BlueDot, a Canadian technology startup, foresaw the outbreak weeks before the Chinese government imposed travel restrictions. BlueDot analyzed Wuhan illness reports and hospital meeting logs and identified the early warning signs of a virus outbreak. By analyzing travel patterns, they predicted that the disease could even spread to Thailand and Japan, which it did.


Big data and related technologies, such as cloud computing, can aid in environmental protection. Agriculture is one of its most significant contributions to sustainability. Big data can provide farmers with predictive analytics that assist them in utilizing only the resources they require, resulting in greater conservation.

Using tools to collect data such as soil quality and water usage, farmers can optimize their harvesting techniques. These techniques allow for increased food production with less waste.

Big data also heavily depends on cloud computing, which is more sustainable than conventional data storage methods. Using the cloud reduces energy consumption and physical infrastructure requirements.


Even within the same district, education quality can vary greatly. Schools that have access to more resources, such as Internet-based learning, can provide a superior education. Using big data, organizations like Unicef are determining which schools require additional resources, allowing school systems to determine where the most assistance is required.

Using big data and predictive analytics, teachers and other staff members can assist at-risk students. These analytics can inform faculty members of students who may be at risk of dropping out, allowing them to provide additional assistance before it is too late.


Additionally, predictive analytics can help identify physical risks. Using factors such as a worker’s experience, potential occupational hazards, and company safety measures, analytic software may be capable of predicting workplace injuries. With the help of these forecasts, businesses could implement new safety procedures or monitor conditions more closely to prevent injury.

Due to the rarity of major incidents such as airplane crashes, big data may not be able to predict them, but it has the potential to improve workplaces that are frequently hazardous. As data analytics systems continue to advance, so will the likelihood that this will become a practical reality.

Humanitarian Efforts

Humanitarian efforts are frequently hampered by the difficulty of determining where the greatest need exists. Using big data analytics, services can examine historical and trending hotspots of need to determine where to concentrate their efforts during a crisis.

Governments and non-profits can prepare for future crises by mapping these charity hotspots. They can establish the infrastructure required to provide aid before a disaster occurs.

Big data may appear intimidating, but it has the potential to revolutionize social progress. The future of philanthropy appears bright with the careful application of big data and the development of new technologies.