Experts from Latin America and Europe stressed the importance today of integrating non-traditional data sources into national statistical systems, during a high-level seminar that is being held through Tuesday, October 2 at the central headquarters of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in Santiago, Chile.
The main aim of the event, organized by ECLAC and the European Statistical Office (EUROSTAT), is to present and analyze different tools in the process of the innovative use of non-traditional data sources for official statistics.
The seminar was inaugurated by Pascual Gerstenfeld, Chief of ECLAC’s Statistics Division, and Rosemary Montgomery, representative of EUROSTAT.
During his remarks, Gerstenfeld underscored that combining sources is not a fad, but rather a necessity.
He explained that, in the framework of the data revolution, it is becoming increasingly evident that today’s demands for information cannot be addressed solely via one channel.
“Non-traditional data sources are going to allow us to broaden the issues under analysis, broaden the territorial desegregations of information; it will allow us, as long as we are very creative, to reduce costs and stimulate more integration of statistics with basic geospatial information, which should then allow us to make a contribution to public policies based on statistical evidence, not just for their design but also for their follow-up and feedback,” he affirmed.
Rosemary Montgomery, meanwhile, emphasized the importance of integrating new data sources in order to accompany the design of public policies and their follow-up.
“Politicians are demanding ever more evidence to engage in evidence-based politics. We have a responsibility to research and explore new non-traditional data sources,” the EUROSTAT representative sustained.
Participants in the seminar included representatives from the statistics institutes of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Finland and Hungary, delegates from non-governmental organizations and from the United Nations system.
The event precedes the seventeenth meeting of the Executive Committee of the Statistical Conference of the Americas (SCA), a subsidiary body of ECLAC and the main forum for discussing the development of statistics in the region, which will take place on October 3-4 at ECLAC’s central headquarters.
This meeting will be inaugurated on Wednesday, October 3 by Alicia Bárcena, ECLAC’s Executive Secretary; Guillermo Pattillo, Director of the National Statistical Institute (INE) of Chile, in his capacity as President of the Executive Committee of the SCA; and Pascual Gerstenfeld.