ONE of the greatest challenges facing Nigeria like most developing countries of Africa , Asia and Latin America is the absence of adequate, accurate and current information and or data for various essential activities impinging on societal development. This is despite the growing influence and expansion of data sciences including social data in the country. To worsen the situation the advent of social media has provided the platform for the generation and circulation of fake unsubstantiated information and data making it difficult to determine which information is genuine and can be relied on for practical planning and other development purposes.
THE above are serious problems that require drastic action not only to stop the spread of unfounded information but to make essential information and data available to all individuals and organisations requiring them. This has become a serious issue of concern to many Nigerians including researchers, policy makers and hence the need to suggest and imploy Ondo State to venture into devising social data for the state that can be replicated in other states and Nigeria in general.
SUFFICE it to say that Nigeria requires building of social data for planning and development purposes. This can be pioneered or originated by Ondo State being one of the most educated and sophisticated states in the country. The overall goal is to extend to all parts of Nigeria where basic information and data about the people and activities are not readily available
SOCIAL data has been described as information that social media users publicly share. This includes metadata such as the users’ location, language spoken, biological data and/or shared links. Sources of social data include blogging, social network services, sharing video communications services, social news and gaming, social search and crowd sourcing services, and collaboratory services such as social survey.
THEY are often regarded as Big Social data. Social Data Science is a recent specialisation that seeks to combine or integrate social services and computer science. Social data science covers several areas including the social media, register data, customer data or on other types of digital traces that people are leaving. These enormous sets of data can also be combined with qualitative data collected through social survey.
SOCIAL data is useful in several ways depending on the purposes of creating the data base. In general, since social data contains detailed information about members of the community, making information available about people and activities will aid understanding the composition of the society and their needs. It could be deployed to market all aspects of the society to draw investors. It will also aid planning and provision of development projects. In Nigeria, where planning without essential up-to-date data are rarely available, it will fill the hiatus. We lack detailed information about people in every community in terms of total number of people, their abode or location, employment status among others. Therefore, availability of social data will be useful in resolving security challenges in the state. The data will help the bureaucracy where people falsify their records and age
CREATING a social data base is also beneficial in some other ways. It has unique benefits for multidisciplinary research that can help society develop. It would further improve and enhance E-governance and by extension efficiency in governance. The creation of social data in Ondo state will assist significantly in understanding the characteristics and needs of the people in the state. It will also promote social science research that focuses in revealing the nature, characteristics, and problems of humans in generally and in this context Ondo state that can be extended to Nigeria at large.
HOWEVER, social data is imperfect. It has its flaws and disadvantages . In the first instance, some users may not share their complete and accurate information, while some other social media may not be real. Consequently, government should ensure that the process is not compromised.
SINCE availability of social data has lots of benefits especially in a situation of lack of adequate data and the fact that all the national censuses undertaken in Nigeria have always been a subject of contention and inaccuracies, therefore institution of social media will be very useful. State Governors in Nigeria should embrace the novel idea for easy networking to address the multifarious problems facing the country.
ONDO state can lead and should take the lead in this dispensation.