Tag Archives: Italian names

Making sense of Big Data : mining Twitter names

Millions of geo tweets in various languages, discussing anything from ‘hey, I’m here‘ to finance, geopolitics or marketing. How do you make sense of them?

We’ve used name recognition (applied onomastics) to filter information and produce unique maps of the e-Diasporas. Where are the digitally connected Italian, Turkish and Russian today? They may be migrants, tourists, business travellers, student, visiting scientists…

To jump directly to the interactive map, click here : http://cdb.io/1iSeWw2 or read more about our methodology.

Italian, Russina, Turkish Twitter

Italian, Russina, Turkish Twitter

TIP : Filter out layers and zoom in/out.
Below we filtered out the Turkish Twitter layer to visualize where the Russian & Italian tourists go to holiday in Turkey

Russian, Italians in Turkey

Russian, Italians in Turkey

The Italian America :

Italian America

Italian America

Further reading :

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Monitoring western investments in Africa [1/2] : a mapping of Italian vs. Portuguese director names

Can onomastics be useful to monitor Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) across the globe?

Global and local media, as well as the social networks and the Internet, often give signals of cross-border investments in the making. Large databases exist with extensive information about company directors and ownership structure. However it is increasingly difficult to put a nationality on a global firm : it may be historically a US company, registered in an offshore tax haven, with more than half its employees in India, and half its revenue in Europe.

As explained in an earlier post, European companies -for example- demonstrate little diversity at the top: Greek companies have Greek directors, etc. Large foreign subsidiaries will have expats on the Board of Directors, nominated by the head office, most often of the same nationality.

Onomastics can be useful, but there are limitations : the accuracy of name classification itself (normally within a 75%-95% range). Also, investments from the USA, still the world leading economic power and a melting pot, are difficult to distinguish from other sources of investments using onomastics only. But, to monitor -for example- Japanese, Russian or Chinese investments in Africa, this approach could provide valuable insights.

International Business Communities in Africa (Italian vs. Portuguese)

International Business Communities in Africa (Italian vs. Portuguese)

As an illustration, we consider the African continent : for 39 countries (out of 54), we listed the company directors of the largest companies. How many of these ~70k people have an Italian name or a Portuguese name? In the map above and left, areas in green have the highest proportion of directors with an Italian name (IT). In the map above and right, areas in red have the highest proportion of directors with a Portuguese name (PT). The synthetic map below shows both business communities and where they are likely to compete against each other.

On a later occasion, in partnership with our friends onomastics.co.uk, we will visually explore the current state of the French and English business communities in Africa, and attempt to answer two questions (1) do onomastics reflect the linguistic heritage of the colonisation, Françafrique vs. Commonwealth (2) which areas are currently -from a business perspective- exclusively French, exclusively English, or a battleground for healthy economic competition?

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