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Advancing the Global Statistical System- Major work areas and accomplishments
14 March 2013
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Friday Seminar on Emerging Issues

Big Data for Policy,
Development and Official Statistics

22 February 2013, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm, 3:00 - 6:00 pm
Conference Rm. 2, Temporary North Lawn Building
United Nations, New York

The theme of this year’s Friday Seminar on Emerging Issues is: “Big Data for Policy, Development and Official Statistics”. The advent of the Internet, mobile devices and other technologies has caused a fundamental change to the nature of data. Big Data has important, distinct qualities that differentiate it from “traditional” institutional data, in particular the timeliness of the data. If governments wanted to, they could already let Big Data (and the private sector) play a role in providing information on topics that are currently under the purview of national statistical offices. Should these NSOs change their business operations to take on the opportunities of using Big Data for official government purposes?  

Please find below the provisional programme, the Key Questions and the Concept Note on Big Data for Policy, Development and Official Statistics. We encourage you to carefully read the key questions and to consider what they would imply for the work of your office. We are looking forward to your participation in this year’s Friday Seminar on Big Data. 

Organizer: United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD)
Morning Session, 10:00 - 13:00

Chairperson:
T.C. Anant, Chief Statistician, India
Panelists:
- Hal Varian, Chief Economist, Google (Video)
  - Matt Wood, Chief Data Scientist, Amazon Web Services
  - James Goodnight, Chief Executive Officer, SAS
  - Robert Kirkpatrick, Director, UN Global Pulse
  - Andrew Wyckoff, Director, Science, Technology and Industry, OECD
  Discussion
   
Demonstrations Session, 14:00 - 15:00
  - Howard Hamilton, Statistical Institute of Jamaica
  - Statistical Institute of Jamaica , Video
  - Matthias Helble, Universal Postal Union
  - Justin Choy, SAS
   
Afternoon Session, 15:00 - 18:00

Chairperson:
Brian Pink, Chief Statistician, Australia
Panelists:
- Gosse Van der Veen, Chief Statistician, Netherlands , Video
  - William Bostic Jr., Associate Director, US Census Bureau
  - Ki-Jong Woo, Commissioner, Statistics Korea
  - Pali Lehohla, Chief Statistician, South Africa
   
  Discussion
   
Background documents
1. Key questions
2. Concept note