Research for Global Development

PhD Students Analyze InterMedia’s AudienceScapes Data


As part of our mission, InterMedia is committed to making the data we collect as widely available as possible on our AudienceScapes Knowledge Center. We do this because we believe that those working on the world’s most pressing problems need data to inform their decision making about solutions. High quality datasets are incredibly valuable for researchers and students to be able to conduct original, empirical research.

Recently a group of PhD students at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced and International Studies (SAIS) analyzed one of the datasets available on AudienceScapes in an effort to contribute to the body of knowledge on how mobile money is being used in Africa. The SAIS students presented their findings to my colleague and me, in an effort to contribute to our ongoing mobile money research efforts on behalf of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The students were able to use the data to identify the segments of Tanzania’s population who use mobile money the least but may have the most to gain from the service. Such segments would be prime target audiences for marketing and other efforts to increase mobile money use. The students concluded that rural residents who send or receive remittances and are below the poverty line are an ideal target group.

Because 72 percent of this subgroup does not speak English, the students pointed out that advertisements, instructions, and the services themselves need to be in Swahili. They also identified radio as the best way to spread word about mobile money, as 76 percent of this subgroup receive news and information from the radio.

They showed that the Tanzanians who are currently most likely to use mobile money are educated, English speakers, spend more than average on their mobile phone use, and “find the internet useful in business.”  In line with previous research, this is a profile of the more affluent, which means getting mobile money in the hands of the rural poor may take some work.

All in all, it was great to see what others can do with our data. Seeing the dissemination of our data at work, providing students the opportunity to learn about data collection and analysis first-hand, and contributing to the body of knowledge on the use of mobile money is an example of InterMedia’s mission at work. As we make more data available through our Financial Inclusion Tracker Surveys Project Data Center, it will be exciting to pursue additional collaboration opportunities, both with Johns Hopkins and other researchers.

InterMedia

PhD Students Analyze InterMedia’s AudienceScapes Data


As part of our mission, InterMedia is committed to making the data we collect as widely available as possible on our AudienceScapes Knowledge Center. We do this because we believe that those working on the world’s most pressing problems need data to inform their decision making about solutions. High quality datasets are incredibly valuable for researchers and students to be able to conduct original, empirical research.

Recently a group of PhD students at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced and International Studies (SAIS) analyzed one of the datasets available on AudienceScapes in an effort to contribute to the body of knowledge on how mobile money is being used in Africa. The SAIS students presented their findings to my colleague and me, in an effort to contribute to our ongoing mobile money research efforts on behalf of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The students were able to use the data to identify the segments of Tanzania’s population who use mobile money the least but may have the most to gain from the service. Such segments would be prime target audiences for marketing and other efforts to increase mobile money use. The students concluded that rural residents who send or receive remittances and are below the poverty line are an ideal target group.

Because 72 percent of this subgroup does not speak English, the students pointed out that advertisements, instructions, and the services themselves need to be in Swahili. They also identified radio as the best way to spread word about mobile money, as 76 percent of this subgroup receive news and information from the radio.

They showed that the Tanzanians who are currently most likely to use mobile money are educated, English speakers, spend more than average on their mobile phone use, and “find the internet useful in business.”  In line with previous research, this is a profile of the more affluent, which means getting mobile money in the hands of the rural poor may take some work.

All in all, it was great to see what others can do with our data. Seeing the dissemination of our data at work, providing students the opportunity to learn about data collection and analysis first-hand, and contributing to the body of knowledge on the use of mobile money is an example of InterMedia’s mission at work. As we make more data available through our Financial Inclusion Tracker Surveys Project Data Center, it will be exciting to pursue additional collaboration opportunities, both with Johns Hopkins and other researchers.

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