Google: The Big Brother, Providing Insights for Free to Internet Use in Africa

Just yesterday we published a post on the grant given to iHub and KENET to deepen internet penetration and access in Kenya. Google’s message is clear and simple; reduce the barriers stopping folks from accessing the internet. The more people that use the internet, the more Google can have them use their product. You see why I am calling Google The Big Brother.

Google is at it again. What is it this time? They have gone a step further to provide an online service that will help one understand internet use in Africa.  For many businesses, conducting research by collecting and analysing data can be expensive and difficult. Google has a product called Google Insight, that can help you know what people are  searching for, when they search for it, and the location they are in. The tool is free but still requires some extra work.

This time around, Google in partnership with Basis Research Ltd worked on a research to understand people’s behaviours and attitudes when it comes to the internet. They have combined it into a new product called Insights Africa. According to the information made available on its blog, Google has been working with market  research firm Basis Research Ltd to understand people’s behaviours and attitudes when it comes to the internet. This is to fully understand why people use the internet, what prevents non-user from going online among  others.

This is definitely a good development and Google has said that she is working to ensure that the data is publicly accessible when the study is completed. Also, the data will be easy-to-understand. One good thing is that website visitors can continue to focus on the information that is most useful to them.

This is a great product and I hope folks who are using the internet as a tool for building their business or accessing users can benefit from it. This new tool makes in more clearer the value of data in determining usage pattern and habits in relation to business intelligence.

For the full press release, click below [showhide type=”pressrelease”].

As more and more people start using the internet in Sub-Saharan Africa, it becomes ever more important to understand the online population.

Over the past two years, Google has been working with market research firm Basis Research Ltd to understand people’s behaviours and attitudes when it comes to the internet.  We interviewed over 13,000 people in urban centres of 6 key African countries – Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Uganda – to understand how and why people use the internet, what prevents non-users from coming online, and much more.

After completing the study, we wanted to make sure that this data was publicly accessible, easy-to-understand, and to ensure that website visitors could focus on the information that is most useful to them.  That’s why we’ve created filters for country, age, gender and internet usage level, which you can select with just a click.

InsightsAfrica ( is a free, publicly available tool which anyone can visit to explore online penetration rates, understand usage patterns amongst the online population, and learn about the barriers to coming online.  Through InsightsAfrica, you can learn what would encourage young Kenyan women to come online more often via mobile phone, locations where Senegalese men most often access the internet via their computer, how long South African men spend online via mobile during an average session, the awareness of online activities amongst non-users in Ghana, Uganda, and Nigeria, and much more.

To create your own customized dataset, simply access InsightsAfrica, select a category from either the top drop-down menu or by hovering over the multi-coloured icons.  Once you are viewing a particular category of information, you can use the lefthand menu to focus on specific demographic groups, change the layout of the graphs or download, save and share your graphs.

We hope InsightsAfrica helps you understand the growing power of the internet in Africa.[/showhide]



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