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Jakarta Post

Data matters for development, democratization

  • Douglas Broderick

Jakarta   /   Mon, October 10 2016   /  08:48 am

Data drives everything. It’s being produced at astronomical speed. We create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data daily — images, video, tweets and GPS signals. Since the smartphone revolution, 90 percent of data today has been created in the last two years.

We have an enormous amount of information within reach — it needs to be harnessed better for the benefit of human development. It helps government make better decisions and deliver services. Data aids basic needs like electricity, or healthcare.

Traditional ways of gathering data is slowing us down. Surveys are expensive and focus groups don’t capture enough information we need for a population as vast and diverse as Indonesia’s. Our phones, however, can order an ojek (motorcycle taxi), a meal and even a massage within 15 minutes — and they can deliver real-time data about people’s daily experiences.

In...