Widening the Aperture on Socioeconomic Conditions in the Emerging Markets

Abe Tarapani

I’m thrilled to announce that earlier today Atlas AI launched the company’s first software application, a market and economic intelligence platform named Aperture™.

Aperture is the result of more than a decade of academic research, AI science, data engineering, and most recently software development. Amidst a landscape of highly technical geospatial platforms we built Aperture to be used directly by operators and investors in the emerging markets seeking to make better place-based resource allocation decisions, such as those relating to site selection, market prioritization and network expansion. We expect the product to be equally relevant for both private and social sector practitioners with an eye towards targeting and maximizing the commercial and development impact of investments and monitoring that impact over time. We’re particularly excited to offer a significant ‘public plan’ inclusive of fifteen years of recent historical economic and population insights for free public access.

Underlying Aperture™ are proprietary data layers offering fresher, more localized insight on demographic, economic and infrastructure conditions and trends than anything we believe to be available today. These data have been largely developed in-house and were rigorously vetted through peer reviewed research to be a reliable proxy for widely adopted socioeconomic indicators. At launch this data will include measures of asset wealth, population and population density, and electricity access. Our consumption expenditure indicator will be integrated shortly, the beginning of a dizzying roadmap of updates and new features planned for this year.

While Aperture™ initially will offer full coverage of the African continent, we expect to expand the product globally over the course of this year. Already in the works are a range of new data sets to launch in coming months, with particular emphasis on expanded demographic, energy and agricultural indicators. Additionally, our AI research team is working on a range of new analytical methods, primarily focused on addressing two central questions:

  1. What are the drivers of sustainable economic development within complex economic systems and how do those drivers interrelate? And,
  2. How can organizations deploy their financial capital and other resources to best achieve desired commercial and development outcomes within these systems?

For those who have been following Atlas AI those two questions should sound familiar. In my first blog post after joining the company, I reaffirmed the mission that has animated our team since David, Marshall and Stefano founded Atlas AI in partnership with The Rockefeller Foundation in early 2018. We exist to monitor the drivers of economic development across the emerging markets so that financial capital can advance societal well-being. Aperture™ is the next step in pursuing this mission, and we expect it to be a vehicle for significant impact and learning over the coming year.

I welcome you to reach out to share your feedback on the product, and in particular ideas for where to take it next.

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