RSS to host a meeting on the future of official statistics in the Big Data era


  • Author: Statistics Views
  • Date: 07 January 2015
  • Copyright: Image appears courtesy of iStock Photo

The Royal Statistical Society is holding a major public event on 19 January 2015 on the topic of 'The future of official statistics in a big data era'. The event is organised in partnership with the Overseas Development Institute and the Data-Pop Alliance.

thumbnail image: RSS to host a meeting on the future of official statistics in the Big Data era

Digital data are increasingly changing the shape of our world. At the same time, attention is also being paid to the woeful state of development data – we know the least about those who are most lacking, and people often lack the information and capacities they need to bring about change. Unsurprisingly this has led to a focus on how we can harness the potential of the new and rapidly evolving digital landscape to meet some of these acute data gaps, and more profoundly, to improve policymaking and citizen empowerment. But while some insist that Big Data may provide an opportunity to ‘leapfrog’ statistical systems in developing countries, others argue that Big Data is largely Big Hype, and that traditional statistical concerns and methods limit its applications for official statistics. And new concerns altogether are emerging including around privacy and ownership of personal data.

An impressive group of of international speakers will help explore these topics:

• Chair: Denise Lievesley (Dean of Faculty, King's College)
• Kenneth Cukier (Data Editor at The Economist)
• Haishan Fu (Director of Development Data Group at the World Bank)
• Alex ‘Sandy’ Pentland (Professor at MIT and Academic Director of Data-Pop Alliance)
• Nuria Oliver (Scientific Director at Telefonica)
• John Pullinger (UK National Statistician)

The event will take place on Monday 19th January at 6pm at the Royal Statistical Society, and will be followed by a wine reception. If you would like to attend, please register by emailing

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