10 Sep 2013

New post: Diplomats – Get into Data

Posted by Wandren PD

“From engaging with activists in closed societies to countering the efforts of Jihadist groups; there has never been a better time for diplomats to get into data.”

There has never been a better time for diplomats to get into data and push the boundaries of what is imagined to be possible within public diplomacy. The amount of data available is greater than ever, perhaps 90% of which was generated in the last two years. At the same time, more people globally are communicating in ways that generate data which is publicly observable, for example through the API of social media platforms. Equally, the tools to analyse data have expanded rapidly, allowing users to search large amounts of data quickly and efficiently.

Certainly, as Nassim Nicholas Taleb noted during the Moneyball Diplomacy event, there is a need for discrimination in analysis, due to the level of “noise” in data. Identifying what ‘signal’ is meaningful to the task of diplomacy will require diplomats and scholars to become increasingly comfortable engaging with, analysing, and using increasingly large and often unstructured data. Engaging in this type of work can open further opportunities for collaboration and to push the boundaries of what is imagined to be possible within public diplomacy.

Read more on the USC CPD blog:

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