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Big Data, Better Data in Sight

1 December 2014 No Comment

Five universities in Beijing jointly have created a Big Data Analysis master’s program. This program will use statistics, computer science, economics, and management courses offered by the participating institutions: Renmin University of China, Peking University, University of Chinese Academy of Science, Central University of Finance and Economics, and Capital University of Economics and Business.

The inaugural 56 students from the five universities graduated with distinction, are interested in Big Data analysis, and want to contribute to this field.

The program was set up as one platform, combining politics, industry, education, and research. Its goal is to meet the growing need for Big Data analysis to make scientific decisions in government and enterprises by creating core competencies that enable students to discover knowledge and values from large data efficiently.

Better Data to Monitor Working Status of Women

An International Labour Organization (ILO)-Data2X roundtable, held recently in Switzerland, brought together representatives from national statistical offices, key international and regional organizations, donors, nongovernmental organizations, and users to find solutions to gender data gaps in processes to monitor the status of women in informal employment, unpaid work, and work in rural areas and agriculture.

Data2X is a partnership between the U.S. State Department, United Nations Foundation, and William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Its goal is to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment and further global economic and social gains through improved data collection and analysis that can guide policy, leverage investments, and inform global development agendas.

The roundtable participants identified the following opportunities for data improvement:

  • Operationalize the 19th International Conference of Labour Statisticians (ICLS) resolution on work statistics standards
  • Build strong partnerships, sharpening the collective vision and coordinating actions
  • Increase the value of the data collected and make the case for better data use
  • Coordinate surveys and questionnaires better to reduce the burden of data reporting on countries
  • Build on proven cases using innovative approaches, better technology, and Big Data
  • Advocate for closing gender data gaps in informal and unpaid work

The ILO-Data2X team and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations will follow up on these areas. Download the World of Statistics newsletter for more information.

Participant News

Philippines—The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) recently celebrated its first anniversary. A 2013 law merged the National Statistics Office, National Statistical Coordination Board, Bureau of Agricultural Statistics, and Bureau of Labor and Employment Statistics to create the PSA.

Romania—The National Institute of Statistics will host a conference April 23–24, 2015, titled “New Challenges for Statistical Software—The Use of R in Official Statistics,” in Bucharest. Researchers from academia and statistical institutes will present, exchange ideas, and discuss developments in state-of-the-art statistical software used in applied economics and statistics.

International—The International Statistical Institute and Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics are accepting submissions of contributed papers for both oral and poster presentations for the 60th World Statistics Congress (WSC). The submission deadline is February 13. The WSC 2015 will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 26–31.

Chile—The First Latin American International Statistical Institute Satellite Meeting on Small Area Estimation will be held August 3–5, 2015, in Santiago. Cosponsors are the International Statistical Institute, International Association of Survey Statisticians, Catholic University of Chile, Chilean Statistical Society, National Institute of Statistics, and Ministry of Social Development. It will bring together mathematical statisticians and practitioners working on small area estimation in academia and private and government agencies.

Spain—You are invited to attend the Second Virtual Conference on Teaching Statistics, Probability, and Combinatorics, organized by the Teaching of Statistics, Probability, and Combinatorics Research Group of the Spanish Society for Research in Mathematics Education and the Statistics Education Research Group of the University of Granada. The online conference will be held April 10–12, 2015.

Visit The World of Statistics website to read previous issues of the newsletter and get more information.

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