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What is the Role of Big Data in Evaluation?

Chicago - November 10th - RSVP Now

Traditional evaluation has been characterized as “backward looking” rather than forward looking, and too focused on proving than improving.

In the world of technology, the assumption is that if you design a product properly, and then iterate rapidly and constantly on the product and process based on user behavior and analytics, you will automatically achieve your goal or outcome.

In the world of big data, the assumption is that if you collect enough passive data about users, you will not need to actively survey them or conduct a final evaluation, because you will see patterns and understand behaviors.

In this session we will explore the pros and cons of Big Data in the area of evaluation, including:
  • What is the role of Big Data specifically for Evaluation (as opposed to research, prediction and monitoring)? Does it have one? When and when not? For whom and for what?
  • Will, as some predict, Big Data approaches and real-time availability of multiple data sets along with the technology that enables them, make evaluation, as we know it, obsolete?
  • Or will we see a blending of real-time monitoring, predictive modeling, and impact evaluation, depending on specific contexts?  
  • How will the biases in big data be balanced in terms of ensuring that the poorest and most marginalized are not underrepresented?
  • Does Big Data further exclude the poor? Do Big Data approaches obviate the need for engagement, participation and direct contact with program participants? Is that a trade off worth making? 
Please RSVP now to join us for a rich and lively discussion, catalyzed by these noted thought leaders: Please RSVP now to join in the discussion. We’ll have snacks for an evening rush, but seating is limited. Once we reach our 30-person capacity there will be a waiting list!
Big Data and Evaluation
Tuesday, November 10th, from 4-6pm
Hyatt Regency Hotel
Room: Acapulco
151 E Upper Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 565-1234
RSVP is required for attendance

About the Technology Salon

The Technology Salonâ„¢ is an intimate, informal, and in person, discussion between information and communication technology experts and international development professionals, with a focus on both:
  • technology's impact on donor-sponsored technical assistance delivery, and
  • private enterprise driven economic development, facilitated by technology.
Our meetings are lively conversations, not boring presentations. Attendance is capped at 35 people - and frank participation with ideas, opinions, and predictions is actively encouraged. 

It's also a great opportunity to meet others motivated to employ technology to solve vexing development problems. Join us today!
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