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Using Big Data to Measure Europe’s Economy

by Daniel Castro

Timely access to information is crucial for informed decisionmaking, but official government statistics are often months or years old by the time they are published. In addition, government statistics can be expensive to produce, burdensome on respondents, and sometimes even inaccurate or imprecise—all factors which limit their usefulness to policymakers, businesses, and others. To address this problem, some researchers are experimenting with using alternative data sources to complement or replace traditional government statistics. For example, “The Billion Prices Project @ MIT” collects data from hundreds of retailers across more than 70 countries to produce daily statistics on inflation and exchange rates.

Join the Center for Data Innovation for a panel discussion with invited economists, statisticians, and policymakers about the possibility of using alternative data sources and methods to improve the quality and timeliness of government data. In addition, at this event, ETLA, the Research Institute of the Finnish Economy, will present a new study that demonstrates the feasibility of using data from search engines to predict unemployment.

Date and Time:

  • Wednesday, May 25, 2016, from 6:00-7:30 PM (CET)


  • Altiero Spinelli Building – Room A3G-3, European Parliament, Rue Wiertz 60, 1047 Brussels

Note: Please be at Simone Veil entrance by 5:30 PM and bring an identity card or passport.


  • Miapetra Kumpula-Natri MEP
  • Paul MacDonnell (Moderator)
  • Petri Rouvinen, ETLA
  • Lucy Sioli, Head of Unit, European Semester & Knowledge Base, European Commission
  • Joonas Tuhkuri, ETLA

Additional speakers to be announced.

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