About Us

 

About the Workshops

 

The United States Census and the Program on Informatics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are convening a series of workshops to examine computational, social-scientific, statistical, and informatic challenges to building the next generation of official statistics. The 21st century is the advent of a data driven economy. The challenge we face is how can we best employ data to reduce the cost and time for businesses to deliver products to market, improve interstate commerce and exports, and accurately measure the changes in society by integrating Big Data into statistical agency operations. These workshops bring together select groups of experts in universities, industry, and the U.S. government to explore diverse approaches to engaging big data to inform a series of selected exemplar use cases faced by statistical agencies.

Individuals are increasingly mobile. Technological advances are rapidly changing what data individuals and organizations use, how they access and use data,and what data they produce, collect, and share to represent themselves. Data describing individuals, institutions and their interactions are increasing in complexity and volume. Data users want more data, faster, in more geographic detail, that address current issues.  Meanwhile official statistical agencies face rising data collection costs and flat or decreasing budgets.

Big Data offers tremendous promise and new challenges for official statistics. New forms and scales of data can enhance and strengthen official statistics in many ways including improving sample survey estimates; increasing efficiency and lowering costs by continuously adapting survey design and implementation based on response; and helping agencies improve the frequency and timeliness of data releases. Achieving this promise requires innovative integration of methods from many disciplines including social sciences, data science, data privacy, statistics, operations research, information and computer science.

The expected outcome of the workshops will be a report identifying new opportunities for using big data to augment economic official statistics; core computational and methodological challenges; and promising areas for future applied research that will inform the Census Big Data research program.

 

About the Program on Information Science

The Program on Information Science of MIT Libraries seeks to solve emerging problems in information management and to and to amplify the impact that MIT can have on the development of information science, information policy, and scholarly communication through participation the development of standards, policy, and methods related to information science and information management.