During January’s Royal Statistical Society’s debate on ‘What is the future of official statistics in the big data era?‘, John Pullinger described big data as ‘a wake-up call for official statisticians‘. Despite the huge challenges, there are indeed many who agree. Official statisticians around the world have been thinking about what big data means for them, and innovating in a wide range of fields, in all corners of the globe.
One of the most influential groups in this arena is the DataPop Alliance think-tank, which focusses on big data and development. They have produced a white paper entitled ‘Official Statistics, Big Data and Human Development: Towards a New Conceptual and Operational Approach‘ (written together with Paris21) which is currently available for comment.