Box 10.1 Country example: Eurostat project on using big data
Eurostat conducted a 15-month feasibility study in 2012-2014 on the use of mobile positioning data for tourism statistics. The project explored the usefulness of using such data for tourism statistics and related domains and assessing their strengths and weaknesses. Issues studied included access and continuity of access, trust (of producers and users of statistics), costs, concepts (in translating the existing tourism statistics concept to a new data source) and other methodological topics (e.g., representativeness and sampling within a very large number of observations). The ability of handling large data files held by mobile operators was a critical obstacle to overcome for the project to be successful. The inclusion of the project in the work programme was, among other reasons, based on promising research results in a number of countries.