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See the World Rebalancing with PopTech's Data Viz App See the World Rebalancing with PopTech's Data Viz App

See the World Rebalancing with PopTech's Data Viz App

by Alex Goldmark

October 23, 2011

The app's other exciting feature is an unfolding interactive infographic on the state of the developing world—in PopTech parlance, hints of how the world will "rebalance."

Powered by a young company, Jana, the data comes from global text message surveys designed to reach people who aren't always included in NGO studies. 

PopTech teamed up with United Nations Global Pulse to develop survey questions that hadn’t been asked before and wouldn’t be asked by the usual Jana customer—companies looking for marketing insights. Jana pays respondents for filling out surveys with fresh cell phone minutes to get high response rates. 

It is "very exciting to get a chance to demonstrate the power of mobile phones as a lens into unserved, understudied populations," Jana founder Nathan Eagle says. 

Jana send out the questions on Tuesdays, and get responses back almost instantly. The information can be ready by Friday for PopTech to insert into the app as an open data set. Right now it contains one dataset from one survey, but the point is to test the limits of what can be done with text survey data. Jana and PopTech are eager to see others expand on the idea. 

"Mobile phone subscribers in many emerging markets spend on average 10 percent of their day's wage on mobile phone airtime," Eagle says. "We envision a future where we can offset much of these costs by enabling emerging market consumers to earn airtime in exchange for engaging with global organizations via the mobile phone."

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See the World Rebalancing with PopTech's Data Viz App