Merkle Aquila has a strong philanthropic culture with ongoing support for charitable causes and a “Giving Back Crowd”, as well as initiatives around environmental responsibility and encouraging young people to study STEM subjects. One team of analysts wanted to go further and put to the leadership team the concept of a long-term partnership with a charity based on knowledge transfer and skills sharing.
Stop the Traffik (STT), a global charity pioneering the cause of intelligence-led prevention of human trafficking, was identified as the right partner for this pro-bono initiative. Despite the time pressure of working around existing client obligations and dispersed locations, a strong team ethos and careful communication ensured this challenge was met and overcome.
A key element of the work delivered for STT has been the creation of a trafficking analysis hub which identifies trends and geographical differences. This has been created using open source social media data, natural language processing and advanced data visualisation to spot how the general public is responding to the issue across different territories.
Alongside this, a big data hub has been built to drive greater value from the data captured by STT on trafficking incidents, as well as open data sources, such as keywords and hashtags. This has included sharing best practice around data structures and automated data cleaning. Staff at the charity have been up-skilled in their data visualisation capabilities.
These new skills and tools are being used to drive STT’s programme strategy through the collection, analysis and visualisation of data. Understanding of public sentiment and how to target campaigns is now benefiting from the work of Merkle Aquila’s team.