Official statistics in the era of big data opportunities and threats

Walter J. Radermacher (2018)

International Journal of Data Science and Analytics, pp. 1-7.

Abstract. In recent years, the quantity of digital data created, stored and processed in the world has grown exponentially. The demand for statistical information has never been so apparent. For ‘official statistics’, the public informational infrastructure provided by statistical authorities, this new era offers not only essential opportunities but also manifold threats. In order for official statistics to function as a language for all kinds of societal interactions and decision-making, it is essential that the product ‘information’ is fit for purpose. This is an essential shift in perspective. Quality of official statistics needs to be seen with a much wider scope, going beyond the side of production, including the use side and analysing scientifically how these two sides are interacting in a dynamic relationship.

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