PriceStats recently participated in the UN Global Pulse, an initiative that aims at leveraging innovative technologies and data sources to track international development in real-time. The Global Pulse team is confident that the analysis of social media and other sources of Big Data represent an untapped opportunity to improve targeting of policies and programs to help communities in need.
The first phase of this initiative included research collaboration with six firms currently using innovative data sets for private purposes (Crimson Hexagon, PriceStats, Jana, SAS, and a consortium of French centers led by the Complex Systems Institute of Paris Ile-de-France & IFRIS). Results from the initial series of projects have underlined several promising approaches for real-time monitoring of unemployment and food security.
The collaboration between PriceStats and Global Pulse focused on the construction of a daily bread price index for six major Latin American countries. The findings illustrate how the online retail prices reveal offline street price changes weeks before official numbers were able to reflect the inflation, potentially allowing policy makers to better prepare for the negative effect on consumers.