Access to new data sources for statistics: Business models and incentives for the corporate sector
New data sources, commonly referred to as “big data”, have attracted growing interest from National Statistical Institutes. They have the potential to complement official and more conventional statistics used, for instance, to determine progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other targets. However, it is often assumed that this type of data is readily available, which is not necessarily the case. This paper examines legal requirements and business incentives to obtain agreement on private data access, and more generally ways to facilitate the use of big data for statistical purposes. Using practical cases, the paper analyses the suitability of five generic data access models for different data sources and data uses in an emerging new data ecosystem. Concrete recommendations for policy action are presented in the conclusions.
Measuring GDP in a digitalised economy
Recent years have seen a rapid emergence of new disruptive technologies with new forms of intermediation, service provision and consumption, with digitalisation being a common characteristic. These include new platforms that facilitate peer-to-peer transactions, such as AirBnB and Uber, new activities such as crowd sourcing, a growing category of the ‘occasional self-employed’ and prevalence of ‘free’ media services, funded by advertising and ‘big data’. Against a backdrop of slowing rates of measured productivity growth, this has raised questions about the conceptual basis of GDP and output, and whether current compilation methods are adequate to capture them. This paper frames the discussion under an umbrella of the Digitalised Economy, covering also statistical challenges where digitalisation is a complicating feature such as international transactions and knowledge based assets. It delineates between conceptual and compilation issues and highlights areas where further investigations are merited. The overall conclusion is that, on balance, the accounting framework for GDP looks to be up to the challenges posed by digitalisation. Many practical measurement issues remain, however, in particular concerning price changes and where digitalisation meets internationalisation.