Social Data: Use Cases for the Public Sector

Social Data in Public Sector

In a blog post last week, we outlined how Microsoft Research was able to indicate whether someone was depressed based on their activity on Twitter, which is groundbreaking research. And this week we looked at how social data can be used for tracking food poisoning outbreaks. We’ve also seen several amazing examples of practical applications of social data as a critical signal and life-saving data source during disaster situations. We still think this is just the beginning in how social data can be used in this sector.

Gnip’s first whitepaper on Social Data in the Public Sector helped outline what social data is, how it can be used and the current implications of using social data. Due to the success of this whitepaper, we wanted to create a followup ebook.

This ebook highlights the use cases of social data in government, and how organizations can determine the right social data for their needs. We’ll outline cases of how social data is used in epidemiology, natural disaster relief, political campaigns, city planning, law enforcement and government surveys. You can download the whitepaper here and send any questions you have to

Download the whitepaper here.

Social Data for Social Good in the Public Sector

Two weeks ago, I was invited to an event hosted by FEMA and White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) with more than 80 top innovators across commercial and government sectors to discuss new ways to improve disaster response and recovery efforts. Gnip was taking part in this event because we and others believe that social data can play a critical role in natural disaster recovery and can provide some of the best feet on the ground reporting.

But we don’t think social data for the social good begins and ends with natural disasters. In fact, we think it’s only the tip of the iceberg. We’ve seen social data being used to track the spread of cholera in Haiti after their earthquake in 2010. Because official reporting methods in epidemiology often take two weeks to obtain official results while social data provides immediacy. Social data is even used to identify food poisoning outbreaks and where food borne illnesses are most likely to occur.

Uses are even expanding in ways that you wouldn’t necessarily expect including using social data to understand the effects and reach of governmental programs. Social data can provide insight into segments of the population that may have been traditionally hard to survey, such as veterans or younger generations that may not be inclined to reply to survey requests. Social data could even be used to identify the economic impact of government-based initiatives or events, through analyzing “check-ins” on platforms like Foursquare to understand how local economies may be positively affected by government based initiatives.

Recognizing that social data is still relatively new to the public sector, we put together a whitepaper to discuss what social data is, how it can be used, and the current implications of social data. While this whitepaper is primarily intended for those just beginning to look at social data, you can expect more content coming your way from Gnip about how to effectively leverage social data in the public sector.

 Download the whitepaper.