The Consumer Price Index quantifies the price variation of the goods and services. The Index is usually generated monthly and its computation needs prior price data collection. Most Arab statistical offices use traditional field collection, relying on a price collector visiting outlets, which entails heavy collection costs and limited item coverage.
To improve data collection, the price statistics team at ESCWA developed the Automated Price Collection Tool (APCT), which enables statistical offices to collect widespread and customized data from websites automatically, using web scraping and natural language processing.
Bahrain is the first country to receive training on the new APCT. The training workshop consists of the following sessions:
- Introduction to big data and its use in price statistics
- Practical training on the fundamentals of Python programming techniques
- Practical training on dealing with texts using Python
- Practical training on web scraping using selenium
- Practical training on developing the APCT