Presented by:


Mariem Ayadi

Credit Suisse
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Economic development research heavily relies on limited, expensive and sometimes “doubtful” survey data. Using free and readily available satellite imagery to empower economic development research is one solution to the problem. This talk will highlight some of those benefits and walk through a step-by-step technical example using open source tools. *source: national oceanic and atmospheric administration

Economists around the world often rely on limited survey data to conduct research in their respective fields. The surveys, whether produced locally or by an international entity, are not only quite expensive but also limited. (1) Timeframe and frequency. Surveys might (if we are lucky) be conducted every year. But often times the gap is more likely closer to every 5 years. (2) Geographically too. Data pertaining to remote or “sensitive” regions might never get recorded. (3) Accuracy and trustworthiness. Some data can be (explicitly or accidentally) unreliable and erroneous.

The aim from this talk is to not only highlight some of the benefits of Alternative Data but also break down some of the technical barriers to entry. I will specifically walk through a use case that utilizes NOAA’s (free!) Nightlight Satellite Imagery. (All possible from within a local machine and using open source software.)

2020 March 25 11:10
50 min
Westside Ballroom
Postgres Conference 2020
Data Science