SAS unite data power with crowd power to

SAS GatherIQ Analysis

Brianna M. Blackwood-Mallory

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Business Analytics MBA 693

Fall 2017

December 15, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part
1: Analysis of a Current Program

According to the application’s website, GatherIQ™
is a crowdsourcing community of volunteers that can make a difference by using
their problem-solving analytical talents to improve humanitarian, educational,
environmental, and societal issues facing the global community (GatherIQ, 2017).

The application features free access to project data and visualizations where
users can explore the visualizations to answer questions and thereby help
organizations around the world.  Radu
(2017) concurs with this assessment when he states that “SAS provides the data
and the platform, but the community will answers these questions, and help
raise awareness. It’s a #Data4Good mobile app” (para. 6).

The genius of the application lays in its availability for access
by a volunteer community of users (who can be professionals or capable
individuals) to post their insights and collaborate with others in the GatherIQ™
community.  Because this application is
intended to unite data power with crowd power to solve global humanitarian
challenges, the application also allows for social sharing of featured projects
via social media channels. Social media channels provide a powerful means to
drive participation by people from all over the globe. At present the
application features three projects:  the
Missing Migrants Project (IOM), Sepsis Alliance,
and the World Wildlife Federation (WWF). These three initial projects aptly
fulfil the promise of supporting humanitarian,
educational, environmental, and societal issues from the outset.

The Migrants Project (IOM)

            Conflicts,
food scarcity, and socioeconomic maladies have caused an increase in migrants
searching for relief by travelling to more developed countries.  The international media has focused
considerable energy reporting on the risks taken by these stricken individuals
who die at alarming rates whiles trying to escape their countries. Migrant
deaths are of particular concern to IOM because not only do many of these
people endue horrors on their journeys, but even before they get to where they
are going, thousands of migrants go missing or die on their journeys
each year.  According to the
International Organization for Migration (IOM) website, an estimated 63,000
victims perished and/or went missing between 2000 and 2016. Based
on the data collected and available through the GatherIQ™ application, it
appears that except for December, migrant deaths and in particular drownings,
are the major cause of immigrant deaths. For those migrants leaving parts of
Africa and attempting to enter European countries, the data shows that these
deaths appear to be the primary cause in the Mediterranean portion of the
migrants’ journey in any given month.  The analytics provides data for monthly and yearly
occurrences. Between 2014 and 2017, there was no appreciable change in deaths
as a result of seasonal conditions.  However,
in April and May in both 2015 and 2016 respectively, there was a significant
increase in deaths, but these were attributable to migrant boats capsizing and
not seasonal changes.

Possibilities for Improvement

How
can this project be improved? While the application does a great job in
collecting and facilitating data analysis by lay people, the project could be
more successful if it partnered with other stakeholders involved in data
collection and analysis. It is evident that there are still too few volunteers
contributing to and reacting to the available data. Additionally, now that
corporate social responsibility is in fashion again, it might also be helpful
to partner with more corporations interested in taking the lead in this social
problem.

            Another way
in which this project could be improved is to allow individuals using android
and PC to have access to the application. 
While Apple smartphones, tablets, and notebooks are extremely popular,
android and PC still leads in the numbers of users.  In particular, many if not most students and
educational institutions have access to and use PC and android devices more
that Apple products and modifying the application to accommodate their access
would increase input from students and professors who are already encouraged to
use the application as part of their coursework.

Part 2: Possible Participant

 

Oxfam
International is a non-profit international organization that could benefit
from the capabilities of the Gather IQ™ app. According to its website,
Oxfam is a confederation of 20 organizations that work together with
partners and local communities in more than 90 countries. One of the main goals
of Oxfam is to address poverty as “one person in three in the world lives in
poverty” (Oxfam.com, 2017). In concert with its partner organization, Oxfam works
to “find practical, innovative ways for people to lift themselves out of poverty.

Oxfam and its partner organizations, work to find the means to help vulnerable men,
women, and children, end the injustices that cause poverty all over the world.

            Oxfam
would be a good candidate for GatherIQ because of its social and socio-economic
concerns.  The partner agencies that it
works with would also benefit from access to the applications analytics either
through Oxfam’s project(s) because of the time and cost savings that could be
potentially accrue from using the application to perform primary or even
ongoing research in relation to projects that are of importance to the umbrella
group and/or the partner agencies on their own. Furthermore, it is conceivable
that many of the other projects might generate data that is of interest and use
to Oxfam and its partner agencies.  In
this case, the app could function as a one stop shopping destination for free
and hopefully in time vetted information.

 

 

Part
3:  GatherIQ Recommendations

A “grass roots” approach is not sufficient to raise the level
of awareness and participation in GatherIQ. 
At present, members of academia and those involved in the three projects
seem to be the ones mostly involved in the application. In terms of university
students, it appears that students engage with the application mainly to earn
academic credit or points for an assignment. Therefore, in order increase the
level of awareness and participation, GatherIQ™ should move to use strategies
employed by for profit applications.

Most people value being able to
contribute comments and opinions.  One
way in which the application could be improved is to create a way for users to share their opinions on the applications
itself.   User reviews are one of the
most effective means to gather user-generated content—not just on
the projects that are being used to crowd source data, but on the application,
itself.  This approach would help
developers tweak the application from time to time to make it more accessible,
user-friendly, and effective in achieving its ends. Although this application
is designed to rely on the services of volunteers, there is probably a way to
offer incentives for using the application and contributing to its data
collection functions and increasing the numbers of persons who use it to help
with data collection.  The incentive
tactic could be user to attract more social media users and gain more
subscribers.

How
else can this project be improved? While the application does a great job in
collecting and facilitating data analysis by lay people, the project could be
more successful if it partnered with other stakeholders involved in data
collection and analysis. It is evident that there are still too few volunteers
contributing to and reacting to the available data. Additionally, now that
corporate social responsibility is in fashion again, it might also be helpful
to partner with more corporations interested in taking the lead in this social
problem.

            Another way
in which this project could be improved as stated above is to allow individuals
using android and PC to have access to the application.  Apple smartphones, tablets, and notebooks are
extremely popular, android and PC still leads the way in terms of the numbers
of users worldwide.  Most students (particularly
university students who might use the application) and educational institutions
(particularly universities and high schools) have access to and use mostly PC
and android devices. Access by these individuals would mean modifying the
application to accommodate their access. 
This move would increase input from students, teachers, and professors
who are already encouraging the use the GatherIQ as part of their coursework
requirements in limited numbers.

            One of the
drawn backs of this type of crowd sourcing of information for data analysis is
that there might not be sufficient vetting of the information used to drawn
conclusions.  This is the same problem
faced by sites like Wikipedia which has come under fire for housing unreliable
or downright incorrect information. Therefore, even before other projects are
added, app developers might need to move to make room for a vetting process of
raw data.

In
an age where social media drives information in real time and provides an
archive of information, GatherIQ is well positioned to succeed because it takes
advantage of contemporary ways of gathering and sharing information. However, to
be truly successful across social media channels, the application’s developers
will need to ensure that not only do they find ways to drive traffic to the
application, but that there is also a mechanism to ensure quality and accuracy
of the information/data that is housed within the application.

Part 4
Posting Information

WWF_Staff:  1.  Review the report for
known programs and useful keywords to aid in your search. 2. Search English and
especially non-English websites. 3. Post a brief description of the institute
and program and/or a link to the website.

 

World Animal
Protection: 

Link: https://www.worldanimalprotection.us.org/ending-sea-turtle-farming

World Animal
Protection (WAP) was formally known as WSPA (World Society for the Protection
of Animals). The organization operates in 50 countries and its vision is to see
a world where animals live free from suffering. WAP has consultative status at
the Council of Europe and collaborates with national governments, the United
Nations, the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Organization for
Animal Health – influencers with the power to improve the lives of millions of
animals. WAP has regional hubs in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and North
America, and offices in 15 countries.

IOM_Staff: Do
the number of Migrant deaths worldwide change with the seasons? Are there any
regions which deviate from the global trend?

            The Migrants Project (IOM)

            An
estimated 63,000 victims perished and/or went missing between 2000 and 2016. Based on the data collected and
available through the GatherIQ™ application, it appears that except for
December, migrant deaths and in particular drownings, are the major cause of
immigrant deaths. Much attention has been given by the media to migrants
crossing the Mediterranean. For migrants leaving parts of Africa and attempting
to enter European countries, the data shows that these deaths appear to be the
primary cause in the Mediterranean portion of the migrants’ journey in any
given month.  The analytics provides data
for monthly and yearly occurrences. Between 2014 and 2017, there was no
appreciable change in deaths as a result of seasonal conditions.  However, in April and May in both 2015 and
2016 respectively, there was a significant increase in deaths, but these were
attributable to migrant boats capsizing and not seasonal changes.

SA_Staff: Which
combination of education level and income group are least ware of sepsis?  What insights can be drawn from these trends
and/or correlations that would help sepsis Alliance develop targeted awareness
campaigns?

The combination of income below
fifty thousand and education levels below high school level appear to be the
group that is least aware of sepsis. This correlation suggests that an
intensive education program is needed to address the information deficit in
these groups. Younger children—those in high school as well as those in middle
school need to receive special attention regardless of their parent’s income
level.  For adults with household incomes
of less than fifty thousand dollars but relatively low educational attainment,
a targeted educational program needs to be deployed.

References

GatherIQ. (2017).  GatherIQ: turn data into good, together
with SAS.  Retrieved from
             https://gatheriq.analytics/
Oxfam International. (2017).  Retrieved from https://www.oxfam.org/en/about
Radu, A. (2017). SAS social
responsibility starts from the top. Retrieved from
https://www.itworldcanada.com/article/sas-social
 -responsibility-starts-from-the-top/392095
World Animal Protection. (2017).

Retrieved from
 https://www.worldanimalprotection.us.org/ending-sea-turtle-farming