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Big Data assisted relief efforts for Hainan victims, SAS Says

Ike Suarez | June 20, 2014
Making this possible was analytics vendor’s collaboration with the International Organisation for Migration.

Big data, by way of data visualization and text mining tools, assisted in relief efforts for the 300,000 Filipinos displaced by Typhoon Hainan, the world's strongest typhoon ever.

A press statement by SAS Institute  said their analytics developer  firm had collaborated  with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM)  to assist Filipinos displaced by the Category 5 typhoon.

Also known in the Philippines as Yolanda, the supertyphoon ravaged parts of central Philippines early last November killing tens of thousands and displacing 300,000 more Filipinos.

The press statement from the Cary, North Carolina-based vendor of analytics solutions said the IOM had used-for free-its visualization and text mining  tools, SAS Visual Analytics and Text Miner respectively.

The applications enabled IOM to identify and rally responders to give aid and relief to displaced Filipinos in several evacuation centers.

Displacement Tracking Matrix

SAS Visual Analytics worked in tandem with IOM's Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), an application that runs on the Excel platform and is an information management tool.

The press statement said the SAS Visual Analytics tool received massive amounts of data from IOM's DTM.

SAS Visual Analytics analysed the massive amounts of data and showed in almost near-real time detailed information on the relief needed and where.

At the same time the SAS Text Miner tool enabled IOM to do text analyses of tweets and other social media posts to fill in information gaps in the days immediately following  Typhoon Yolanda's onslaught.

IOM shared the data it obtained and made easily understandable through the visualization tool with the Philippine government's Department of Health, local government units, the World Health Organization, UNICEF and health cluster partners.

The press statement said IOM hopes to create a replicable platform to greatly reduce the time needed to analyse and visualize displacement indicators and deliver deeper insights on unique needs of each crisis.

IOM is an intergovernmental office based in Geneva, Switzerland whose mandate includes resettlement of people worldwide displaced by man-made and natural disasters.



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