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Big Data and social organisations

A State of the Art Review written by Duncan Ross for Nominet Trust.

Big Data can provide social organisations with opportunities to improve and reshape their services. Commercial companies are already making the transformation to being data-led organisations – using insights and understandings from their data to transform their business.

Big Data represents a combination of a series of trends: the rapid growth in data creation, the ability to store this data at a reasonable price, and the ability to apply sophisticated techniques to it in order to extract knowledge.

At Nominet Trust we seek to understand where digital technologies and the practices that can be developed with them can best be used to create new ways of generating social value. Making use of Big Data is a clear example of one such area: linking the transformational insights of data science with the creative and tenacious characteristics of social entrepreneurs offers incredible potential for finding new ways to address persistent social challenges.

If social organisations can realise the potential of Big Data then we can create new practices and interventions that offer radically different approaches to addressing some of the most persistent social challenges. Understanding what Big Data is; how it can be utilised, and the potential it offers social organisations is a key step in creating new insights from where such interventions and practices can be developed.

Big Data for Big Impact

On 21st November Nominet Trust, in partnership with Founders Forum for Good hosted an afternoon of discussions with among others, Dr. Mike Lynch OBE, Sir Tim Berners-Lee & Edwina Dunn about Big Data and what it means for charitable organisations and social enterprises.

During the event, Duncan Ross, CEO of DataKind UK and author of Nominet Trust's State of Art Review: Big Data and Social Organisations discussed how Big Data can be used to improve Social enterprises and their services. You can find out what happened in our Storify of the event.