Demonstrating a positive impact

Big data analytics and AI solutions have a wide range of applications. From mitigating the effects of climate change, to informing policy decisions during disease outbreaks, the impact can be demonstrated for a broad cross-section of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). The AI for Impact initiative has examined several applications, some of which are captured as case studies in this Toolkit.

The impact created by big data analytics and AI solutions are on two dimensions. Firstly, on the decision-makers level, to enhance government’s capability and accountability by offering data-driven solutions. Secondly, on the population dimension, by having decisions taken that will directly impact people’s lives and wellbeing.

Enhancing governments’ capabilities and accountabilities

  • More effective and efficient plans: Big data and AI enable governments and agencies to make well-informed decisions swiftly, especially during crises like natural disasters and disease outbreaks. These technologies aid in understanding population mobility, economic activity, and long-term changes like internal displacement, thereby assisting in problem-solving, resource allocation, and targeting development budgets effectively.
  • Improved ability to measure impact and demonstrate results: Data-driven decision-making allows for the creation of measurable impact reports and the use of mobile big data as a proxy for development indicators, like poverty, enhancing governments' ability to track progress against objectives and global goals, such as the UN SDGs.

Improving the population’s wellbeing:

  • Health crisis response: Mobile operators collaborated with governments during Covid-19 to enhance public health through disease containment and targeted healthcare resource use by developing responsive use cases.
  • Natural disaster response: Data-derived intelligence may even save lives when made available to support rapid decision-making and response. In a ground breaking project, KDDI, OYO, and Toyota combined mobile analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) to produce an AI powered decision response system during times of natural disasters.

To harness big data analytics and AI benefits, technology must be readily available to respond to the crisis, ensuring insights from big data are timely, economically viable, and delivered in an accessible form to decision-makers.

To discover more about how to set up a big data analytics project for successful delivery and maximum impact, read the ‘Ecosystem’ section of this Toolkit.