Using Yelp data to measure economic activity
Extremely interesting approach. My (non-academic) sense is that economics data collection approaches haven’t adapted as quickly to the “Big Data” era and this paper seems like a very cool outlier.
There’s a lot of cool stuff in this short Economist article, but one of the most interesting parts is this last paragraph (which goes beyond homelessness):
The use of data to segment markets and track performance is commonplace in the for-profit sector. Non-profits have long preferred good intentions over measurable solutions. But it does not have to be this way, says Rosanne Haggerty, president of Community Solutions. Her organisation saw a need for a more streamlined approach to providing homelessness services during its 100,000 Homes Campaign, a four-year effort to place chronically homeless people in permanent housing around the country—which ultimately housed more than 105,000 people by June 2014. The organisation created the initial platform in 2013. Palantir came aboard in 2014 on a pro-bono basis, and Cisco backed the project with a grant. San Francisco began using the new tool free of charge in September, and ten more cities will follow suit by the end of this year. The platform will be available to cities who commit to ending chronic and veteran homelessness in the next two and a half years. “Many of the resources we need we already have,” says Ms Haggerty. “We just have to use them differently.”