Training, Skills and Capacity-building

Home   UN Big Data GWG Task Teams


The statistical community has the obligation of exploring the use of new data sources, such as Big Data, to meet the expectation of the society for enhanced products and improved and more efficient ways of working. Big Data could also support the monitoring of the Post-2015 development goals by improving timeliness and relevance of indicators without compromising their impartiality and methodological soundness. The report of the Global Working Group (GWG) to the Statistical Commission (E/CN.3/2015/4) provides additional background to the work of the task team.

Big Data is by definition different from traditional data sources used by national statistical systems (NSSs). This implies that new methodologies need to be developed to work with Big Data. The kind of sources of Big Data poses challenges both in how to approach their processing and analysis, but also the mere technological way of dealing with them. This means that new skill sets are necessary to successfully work with the new Big Data sources. Some of these new skill sets could be hired temporarily, others will need to become in an integral part of the institution. It is up to the senior management to decide what will be done by the institute itself and what will be outsourced.

An additional complication is that there is not just one kind of Big Data source, and each kind of Big Data may have different requirements as far as new skill sets are concerned. We need therefore to develop tools to identify and assess the needs for new skills.


  1. Develop methods and tools (including coordination and facilitation) for
    1. a baseline need identification of “Big Data” skills in NSSs; and
    2. an assessment of institutional readiness of NSSs in using Big Data
  2. Provide guidance on the development of a programme of training that addresses the gaps identified in the skills needs analysis
  3. Facilitate establishing global network of institutions for training and capacity building on Big Data
  4. Coordinate training plans in line with Global Survey on Big Data for Official Statistics and other outcomes from tasks teams formulated within GWG.


  1. Assessment of institutional readiness
  2. Development of training courses
  3. Capacity building and sharing experiences through innovation centres and global network



  • Japan
  • UAE
  • Colombia
  • Philippines

International Institutions

  • ITU
  • UNSD
  • World Bank