Power of Data & the market of official statistics

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Prague, 14
-
15 September, 2009

Official Statistics in the era of Ubiquitous
connectivity & Pervasive Technologies

Michail SKALIOTIS
, Eurostat


Paper for the International Statistical Conference



S
TATISTICS


I
NVESTMENT IN THE
F
UTURE 2‘

Prague, 14
-
15 September, 2009
-

Official Statistics in the era of Ubiquitous & pervasive technologies

Contents of presentation


Purpose


Power of Data & the Market of official statistics


Scenarios of a Ubiquitous world


Proposals for pilot projects & experimentation


Concluding remark

Prague, 14
-
15 September, 2009
-

Official Statistics in the era of Ubiquitous & pervasive technologies

The Purpose of this presentation:


Raise awareness amongst official statisticians of the
necessity to move towards
Official Statistics 2.0.



Demonstrate and persuade that
a profound

technology
shift is happening now which requires changes to our
professional paradigm and our business model. This is
both a
challenge

and a
responsibility

for official
statistics.

Prague, 14
-
15 September, 2009
-

Official Statistics in the era of Ubiquitous & pervasive technologies

Power of Data & the market of official statistics (1)


Some underlying trends to consider:

increasing pressure on NSIs

for
providing more data, in
a more timely manner, reducing response burden on
enterprises and individuals…….at constant or reduced
resources
(this is a formidable optimisation problem).


The result is that NSIs cannot meet all the demands,
and therefore


Private actors are entering the market of official
statistics.



On the other hand we observe an
increasing
attractiveness

of the statistics market as such


Prague, 14
-
15 September, 2009
-

Official Statistics in the era of Ubiquitous & pervasive technologies

Power of Data & the market of official statistics (2)

It is worth reading:


Ian Ayres:
‘Super Crunchers: Why thinking
-
by
-
numbers
is the new way to be smart’, (
Sept. 2007), Bantam Dell.


Choi, H & Varian, H.:
‘Predicting the Present with
Google Trends’, (
April 2009)

http://www.google.com/googleblogs/pdfs/google_predicti
ng_the_present.pdf




Lohr, S.:
’For Today’s Graduate, Just One Word:
Statistics’,

New York Times, 5 August 2009.

…these multibillion
-
dollar acquisitions of firms whose sole
product is number crunching, is powerful evidence that
data
-
driven decision making has market value (Ayres)

Prague, 14
-
15 September, 2009
-

Official Statistics in the era of Ubiquitous & pervasive technologies

Power of Data & the market of official statistics (3)


New environments and modes of data and information
exchange are emerging:

-

Internet

-

RFID

-

Explosion of electronic transactions

-

Electronic records and digital footprints

-

petabytes of data (too many data)


In a (largely) digital world there will be a need for
developing a new quality framework for statistics


This task should be entrusted to a
‘trusted third party’,
i.e.
NSIs, Eurostat, OECD, UNSD, and other public
bodies responsible for official statistics.

Prague, 14
-
15 September, 2009
-

Official Statistics in the era of Ubiquitous & pervasive technologies

Scenarios of a Ubiquitous world (1)


Some terminology first:

The list of words that are used in the context
of ubiquitous computing….is very long!



Ubiquitous Computing, Pervasive Computing, Mobile Computing,
Smart Phones, Wearable Computing, Calm Technology, Spimes,
Internet Protocol v6, Invisible Computing, Seamless Computing, Wi
-
Fi, Ambient Intelligence, Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality,


Radio
-
Frequency Identification, Intelligent Environments,


Internet
-
Of
-
Things, Physical Computing, Networked Objects, Smart
Dust, Things That Think, Global Positioning System, Tangible Media,
Mixed
-
Reality Games, Thinglinks, Body Area Networks, Blogjects,
Context
-
Aware Computing, Cell ID, Spychips, Everyware,
Participatory Panopticon, Smart Homes, Ambient Findability,
Geospatial Web, Sensing Technologies, Physical Metaverse,
Locative Media, Pervasive Play…
[source: Anne Galloway: A Brief History
of the Future of Urban Computing and Locative Media, PhD Thesis, p.110].

Prague, 14
-
15 September, 2009
-

Official Statistics in the era of Ubiquitous & pervasive technologies

Scenarios of a Ubiquitous world (2)


What evidence do we have to demonstrate that
technology is really driving our societies towards a
ubiquitous and pervasive world ?

To answer this question, I gathered supportive evidence

by looking at:


Current research activities


Ubicomp conferences


Policy documents


Opinions from technology experts


EU initiatives in the direction of preparing a balanced
regulatory framework, etc…

Prague, 14
-
15 September, 2009
-

Official Statistics in the era of Ubiquitous & pervasive technologies

Scenarios of a Ubiquitous world (3)


To understand the scale and vision of the current EU
activities in ICT and the Internet in particular, it is worth
visiting the site


http://www.future
-
internet.eu/publications.html



Things that look like science fiction today, they will
become reality tomorrow


For example, the time is approaching where your
business meetings in the future will look like (next slide)



Prague, 14
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15 September, 2009
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Official Statistics in the era of Ubiquitous & pervasive technologies

Scenarios of a Ubiquitous world (4)

Prague, 14
-
15 September, 2009
-

Official Statistics in the era of Ubiquitous & pervasive technologies

Scenarios of a Ubiquitous world (5)


The very functioning of Ubiquitous computing is based
on data, metadata, and information processing embeded
in the objects, body, surfaces and (through them) in the
activities of everyday life.


The challenges and responsibilities for Official Statistics
are manifold: developing quality frameworks with
internationally agreed standards for
real
-
time statistics,
guiding consumers and prosumers of statistics to avoid
confusion in an environment of ‘too much information’,
helping regulators, collaborating with multi
-
disciplinary
stakeholders for the design and development of trusted
information systems……are just some of the many
areas!

Prague, 14
-
15 September, 2009
-

Official Statistics in the era of Ubiquitous & pervasive technologies

Domains for piloting and experimentation (1)


There are several areas we could start with piloting and
experimentation.


I have selected 3 broad domains: The Internet,
Consumer Price Indexes and Health Statistics.


The selection was based on 2 sets of considerations:

1.
Technical advancements, investment by industry, scale
of the phenomenon and political commitment on the
one hand, and

2.
The different nature and complexity of the statistical
challenges that each domain requires.

Prague, 14
-
15 September, 2009
-

Official Statistics in the era of Ubiquitous & pervasive technologies

Domains for piloting and experimentation (2)


The Internet for example is already there, political
commitment is very high, and the industry is massively
involved in the design of future internet. The Internet is
becoming the real infrastructure of our societies.


Amongst the 3 areas, the Internet represents the most
challenging and most complex statistical aspects. This is
clearly a field of statistical experimentation.


RFID
-
based retail price statistics do not represent the
complexities of the Internet, but their attractiveness is
not without methodological challenges (similar to
scanner
-
based data).

Prague, 14
-
15 September, 2009
-

Official Statistics in the era of Ubiquitous & pervasive technologies

Domains for piloting and experimentation (3)


Finally, the domain of Health statistics, while it
represents softer statistical challenges, it is a unique
test
-
bed for developing trustworthy data environments.


I do believe that NSIs should embark on all of these
domains with concrete projects.

Prague, 14
-
15 September, 2009
-

Official Statistics in the era of Ubiquitous & pervasive technologies

Concluding remark


While it might be difficult to predict the exact timing and
scale of ubiquitous computing, there is adequate
evidence suggesting that it will rather happen sooner
than later. A ubiquitous and pervasive world will require
official statistics to change towards their version 2.0; the
moment to start preparing for this is now.



Let’s close this presentation with a flavour of technology


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZ
-
VjUKAsao