Bringing Statistics into the Digital Age

The Statistical Commission of the Economic and Social Council hosted a meeting and had several items for discussion and decision. After the chair gave opening remarks, the floor was open to the representatives. The first topic for discussion was the transformative agenda for official statistics.

The representative of the United Kingdom stated that the UK supports the work of the higher-level groups and supports the global action plan for the agenda. He also explained that we need to find efficient ways in which we can produce statistics, and because it is a global agenda, we need to think about sequencing and think about other activities when implementing such initiatives.

The representative of China said that the transformative agenda is very important, and that China has been promoting standardization and development of technologies for many years. China has also been exploring big data, cloud computing, and other modern technologies to conduct surveys and analyze data.

The representative of Jordan noted that last year, Jordan used a completely electronic census for the first time in 11 years. The results were produced in record time, as it only took two months, and the government was able to use the data collected and provide maps of the population distribution.

Another topic for discussion during the meeting was big data for official statistics. The representative of Korea mentioned that Korea has a deep appreciation for global working groups, with activities like global surveys. He said that privacy protection is one of the challenges the NATO Standardization Office (NSO) should be facing with big data, and that it is necessary to have an international agreement on the use of personal data, which should be used only for statistical purposes. After the topics were discussed, the chair gave closing remarks.

Meeting: Economic and Social Council 3rd meeting

Date/Location: Wednesday March 9, 2016, 10:00 –13:00; Conference Room 4

Speakers: representative of United Kingdom; representative of China; representative of Jordan; representative of Australia; representative of Kuwait; representative of Korea

Written By: WIT Representative Kangho (Paul) Jung

Edited By: WIT Representative Alex Margolick