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This Stats Brief gives an overview of big data sources that can be used to produce economic statistics and presents country examples of the use of online price data, scanner data, mobile phone data, Earth Observations, financial transactions data and smart meter data to produce price indices, tourism statistics, poverty estimates, experimental economic statistics during COVID-19 and to monitor public sentiment.

The Brief is part of ESCAP’s series on the use of non-traditional data sources for official statistics.

This Stats brief is prepared by Irina Bernal, Consultant, UNESCAP Statistics Division, and Tanja Sejersen, Statistician, UNESCAP Statistics Division, with valuable inputs from Rikke Munk Hansen, Chief of Economic and Environment Statistics, UNESCAP Statistics Division, and Alick Mjuma Nyasulu, Statistician, UNESCAP Statistics Division.[i]

[i] Additional inputs to this Stats Brief have been received from Anders Holmberg, Chief Methodologist, the Australian Bureau of Statistics; Ric Clarke, Director of Emerging Data and Methods, the Australian Bureau of Statistics; Revaz Maisuradze, Chief Specialist, Department of Planning, Coordination and Communication, National Statistics Office of Georgia; Toghrul Ajalov, Deputy head, Department of Statistical Works Coordination and Strategic Planning, State Statistical Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan; Gary Dunnet, Deputy Chief Methodologist, Statistics New Zealand; Richard Evans, General Manager, Economic and Environment Insights, Statistics New Zealand; Chris Ball, Reserve Bank of New Zealand; Ali Said, Director, Statistical Analysis and Development, BPS Statistics Indonesia; Setia Pramana, Big Data Specialist, BPS Statistics Indonesia; Jamaliah Jaafar, Director, Integration and Data Management, DOSM Malaysia; Lkhagva Myagmarsuren, Director, Information Technology Department, National Statistics Office of Mongolia; Nguyen Tri Duy, Deputy Director, Institute of Statistics of Viet Nam, Le Thuy Tuen, Principle Statistician of Statistical Methodology and Quality Management Department, General Statistics Office of Vietnam, Nguyen The Hung, Principle Statistician of Statistical Data Collection and Information Technology Application Department, General Statistics Office of Vietnam, Le Manh Quan, Statistical of Price Statistics Department, General Statistics Office of Vietnam; Benjie Navarro, Director, International Cooperation Unit, the Philippines Statistics Authority. This brief also benefited from presentations and discussions at Asia-Pacific Stats Cafés on 16 November and 30 November 2020.

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