The use of big data to help understand the global economy continues to build momentum. Last week our sister institution, the International Monetary Fund, launched their own program in big data, with a slate of interesting speakers including Hal Varian (Google Chief Economist), Susan Athey (Professor at Stanford GSB and a former Microsoft Chief Economist) and DJ Patil (Chief Data Scientist of the United States).
The day's speakers grappled with the implications of big data for the Fund's bread-and-butter macroeconomic analysis--a topic of great interest to the World Bank Group too. Examples were presented in which big data is used to generate macroeconomic series that have traditionally been the preserve of national statistical offices (NSOs): for example, MIT's Billion Prices Project, which measures price inflation in a radically different way from traditional CPI statistics.
Photo Credit: Neil Fantom
A more detailed recap will follow soon but here’s a very quick hats off to the about 150 data scientists, civic hackers, visual analytics savants, poverty specialists, and fraud/anti-corruption experts that made the Big Data Exploration at Washington DC over the weekend such an eye-opener.
If you're playing catch up, read more about the plans and potential impact for future Data Dives. Also have a look at what colleagues at a Data Dive in Venice accomplished by analysing World Bank contracts and vendors. And now, read the cross-posted blog below from UNDP's Giulio Quaggiotto and World Bank's Prasanna Lal Das who ask: Would You Give Up Your Personal Data for Development?
Update: the event will be webstreamed on World Bank Live.
This is an exciting time to be in the data business. There have never been more groups, from such different backgrounds, with a passion for producing and using data for the public good.
So much data, so little evidence. So much information, yet unsatisfactory decisions...can big data change it, and how?
Are you interested in the accessibility of research, the application of data and the future of development policy? Don't miss these three events happening at the World Bank this week:
- Monday 22nd at 4pm EST: The Kickoff of Open Access Week 2012
- Thursday 25th at 2pm EST: "Turning Big Data into Big Impact"
- Thursday 25th- Friday 26th: "Using History to Inform Development Policy"