Skip to main content

Rapid technological advances and the recent COVID-19 pandemic are leading to new expectations from official data and statistics. National Statistics Offices (NSOs) are expected to respond to urgent data needs for timely, granular, and relevant data while preserving privacy. NSOs find themselves under pressure to incorporate new data sources which means building partnerships with new stakeholders, investing in new infrastructure and in new skills as well as updating their data governance arrangements so they are flexible and agile to respond to these new demands. ESCAP’s research, on the uses of big data for official statistics, across countries in Asia and the Pacific discovered many challenges the NSOs face when exploring the potential of big data for official statistics. In response to the outcomes of the research and the recommendations by the 2021 Expert Group Meeting on the Uses of Big Data for Official Statistics, ESCAP has produced this guide to offer some insights on navigating and addressing these challenges. In particular, the guide is aimed at supporting the NSOs in Asia and the Pacific that are actively exploring ways to incorporate big data into the statistical production process. Other members of the national statistical systems in and outside the region may also find this guidance useful.