Leveraging behavioral insights in the age of big data

­Access to an extremely large amount of data has enabled us to pursue research endeavors that just a couple of years ago seemed unimaginable. Examples of amazing big data applications in the field of economics are all over the place: using job-portals data to inform labor market policies; analyzing citizens’ reactions to public policies using Twitter; creating daily inflation data using billions of records from online retailers around the world; and even measuring economic growth from outer space!
The data revolution is open to anyone with the right tools, and big data can be useful to answer policy questions. Pairing big data with some of the traditional methods of data gathering such as household surveys can yield timely information and can help shape appropriate policy responses. For instance, traditional household surveys, from which unemployment estimates are calculated could carry outdated employment data by the time they become available. But big data can complement this effort in places where unemployment rates correlate with the frequency with which people use Google to search for jobs, as in the case of Brazil, that could be used to estimate real-time unemployment rates.

Monthly unemployment rate and google searches for “looking for a job” in Brazil, 2006-17

Continue reading

5 reasons why big data innovation is critical to address climate resilience

In today’s world of mobile technology, social networks, pervasive satellite and sensor information and machine-to-machine transactions, data is becoming the lifeblood of many economies. Data-informed decision making is more important than ever before. However, the ability to use data in development and decision-making processes has not seen the screen_shot_2016-11-01_at_2_03_44_pmsame progress. Relying on data to inform decisions requires that the appropriate tools and analytical methodologies exist in order to use it effectively.

Continue reading

Statistics Netherlands (CBS) starts unique initiative for Big Data research

cbsWith the launch of a Center for Big Data Statistics (CBDS), CBS is initiating cooperation of an unprecedented scale in the field of Big Data. The CBDS involves national and international parties from government, the business world, science and education all
working together in the area of Big Data technology and methodology for the production of official statistics. The CBDS is launched officially on 27 September 2016.

Continue reading