In the latest EDA Insight, Research Fellow Seppe Verheyen examines the new frontiers of using big data in diplomatic practices. In the paper, he highlights four different tasks in the day-to-day work where diplomats can use big data: the diplomat as a brand manager, analyst, negotiator and a humanitarian aid worker.
Dr Verheyen addresses the challenges of unstructured data in the form of online comments and social media posts and explores how social media and analytics tools can be used to assess those. Social media management and analysis tools permit diplomats to manage the online reputation of a country for public diplomacy purposes and to understand and predict events in other countries. Diplomats can also use advanced data analytics to determine policy positions of other countries through automated content analyses and can even enhance humanitarian aid by using geopolitical data and crowd-source mapping for early-warning systems.
Finally, he concludes that to make full use of the potential of big data, Ministries of Foreign Affairs should conduct reviews on how to best use data and how to train diplomats in the use of big data.
Please note that EDA’s research outputs do not necessarily represent the views of the UAE government but seek to address issues that foreign-policy experts and practitioners both in the UAE and worldwide will find informative and relevant.