Use of Big Data in Compilation of SDG Indicators in the Arab Region: Challenges and Opportunities - ESCWA

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Use of Big Data in Compilation of SDG Indicators in the Arab Region: Challenges and Opportunities

ESCWA Publication: E/ESCWA/CL4.SIT/2021/TP.2


Publication Type: Information material

Cluster: Statistics, Information Society and Technology

Focus Area: Statistics

SDGs: Agenda 2030

Keywords: Social statistics, Big data

Use of Big Data in Compilation of SDG Indicators in the Arab Region: Challenges and Opportunities

May 2021

The report focuses on how non-traditional information sources, particularly those provided by the big data revolution, can help official statisticians fill data gaps. The report reviews existing projects that use big data sources for official statistics, discusses the pros and cons of using those sources, and analyses concrete examples of using remote sensing information to gain insight on poverty rates, economic activity and prices. The report concludes that big data can help gather information on a number of focus areas, including mobility, transport, tourism, prices, corruption and crime, energy consumption, population density, land use, welfare, and the labour market. Despite the ethical, legal and technical challenges that big data represents for statisticians, it improves timing, accuracy and access to detail; increases classification capacity; and bridges official data gaps for many SDG indicators.

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