Data for good lights the way for The Bright Initiative
The evidence you seek may already be out there. It would help if you had the right questions, skills, and tools to recognize what you’re looking for in the data trove of the internet. Furthermore, how you use that data can make a world of difference.
One of the most well-known uses of public online data is for market research and competitive analysis. Businesses can use such data to gain insight into what customers want, anticipate popular trends, and better understand the competitive landscape. They can also use it to gear their products, special offers, or advertising to match their customers’ expectations, behaviours, and their market competition. Using data to get to know your customers and competition better can translate into increased sales, market leadership, and product innovation as well as nurture brand loyalty.
However, that is merely the tip of the iceberg in the potential use of openly available online data. Beyond profit-making, addressing some of the key ESG (Environmental, Societal & Governance) web-based data use can drive critical academic research, fight social injustice, respond to large-scale crises, and improve community well-being in the real world.
It’s often said that time is of the essence. This statement can’t be more pertinent than in the fight against Covid-19. Providing the most accurate and fastest up-to-date data helps scientists, organizations, and individuals act and make decisions to save lives and resume daily activities in the new norm. Bright Data’s platform has been offering its technological services and products for free to those in the front lines battling the spread of the virus through its Bright Initiative. In fact, its contribution during the height of the pandemic received recognition from Gartner, the world’s leading research and advisory company.
In the US, The Bright Initiative worked with the community service project ‘Find A Shot’, which enabled Covid-19 vaccine availability at pharmacies across the country when supply was limited. While that project has concluded due to sufficient vaccine supply, The Bright Initiative continues providing pro bono data-collecting know-how to those involved in the field, whether it is by supporting further tools for fast diagnostics or driving forward vital research.
The Bright Initiative is also supporting the implementation of the UK’s National Data Strategy (NDS), working with the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) and a range of other partners on projects to help realise the strategy’s social and economic ambitions. In The Bright Initiative’s view, the NDS is creating an opportunity for enhanced transparency across the British economy and society, underpinned by a commitment to ethical data usage and skills. So far, The Bright Initiative has facilitated discussions between business leaders and UK Ministers. It has also been working closely with the prestigious Institute for Government think tank and has convened a meeting of senior public sector data professionals and Government officials who are leading delivery of the NDS.
The Bright Initiative is also working directly with the DCMS team that is implementing the NDS, providing industry insight on issues. This includes offering data markets and skills needs as well as pro bono data collection services in support of research work.
The Bright Initiative also partners with over 85 world-renowned academic institutions, offering personalized data-driven workshops and seminars to educate the next generation. It also provide its technology to perform critical research. For example, The Bright Initiative partners with King’s College and upReach, a charity aimed at disadvantaged youth from across the UK, to realise their potential, running regular data-driven sessions. It also offers several extensive internship opportunities.
The following are some recent examples of research performed using The Bright Initiative’s technology: the Royal Holloway University of London and Oxford University study the impact of researchers’ locations on the level of web page access; Princeton University seeks to create an accurate map of internet coverage in the US to close the digital divide; and ETH Zurich looks into the legal bias in the judicial system of a developing country. These are just a few of many more examples of how The Bright Initiative’s technology is positively impacting research.
Aside from advancing academia, The Bright Initiative’s mission includes helping resolve pressing social injustice issues. It partners with organisations such as HTI Labs and Humans Against Trafficking to fight human trafficking in the sex industry as well as among children. It does so by offering its technology to access and collect critical publicly-available online data it then passes on to law enforcement agencies. The Bright Initiative also facilitates workplace diversity, partnering with Mathison, the leading diversity hiring technology company, powering its first-of-its-kind, all-in-one system that manages diversity recruiting.
At its core, Bright Data believes in an ethical and transparent internet. It sees its responsibility as ensuring that online data drives positive change worldwide. It has shown with its Bright Initiative that data used for good is not just an idealistic dream; it is a reality for the company, its partners, and the people it helps every day.