Data is Named the New Oil – guest blog by developer Abiola Afolabi

Data is named the new oil, every one can now scream ‘Drill Baby Drill’. In a society such as Nigeria with different literacy span and pressing need for optimum service delivery, it will be so nice to amplify the voices on deep down data. However, data can be so crude, slimy and messy in its defualt state and will need cleansing into a format that can be used by all.

The ‘Follow the Data’Hackathon has been a thrilling experience for the BudgIT team. The hackathon ties into our daily chore which is using creative means to strengthen societal inclusion in terms of public finance. Citizens are mostly lost when they peer into the arcane subject of extractive revenue and find it difficult to join the conversation. Most importantly, the size of the huge revenue cannot empirically valued by the citizens. With serial zeroes punctuated by commas counted as oil revenue, citizens cannot connect with the huge size of the fund and its impact in the community. Based on the goals of the hackathon which is to find the best ways to use data mining to stimulate actions from local people, we want show what oil revenue can really do to a community.
Our goal is to mine at the oil revenue of government of the last fourteen years of democracy and show the backward possibilities of using such revenue to solely build schools, police stations, clinics, fertilizers and other common items. We now link the datasets to the pressing need of the individual/community and pass that to his representative for urgent attention. For the BudgIT team, data must be clearly be meaningful to citizens and intersect with government institutions.

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