B.1.  Good practices in using other data sources and big data

10.4.        The compilation of data needed for measuring the international supply of services is a complex process and requires the use of both traditional and other data sources. Compilers are encouraged to consider using other data sources in the context of national initiatives to use big data as a potential new data source. The present Guide advises that compilers undertake pilot projects in selected areas and weigh the benefits of using big data in combination with existing traditional data sources to improve timeliness, fill data gaps and reduce cost, while maintaining a high level of quality in the resulting official statistics on the international supply of services. For example, big data may be useful in compiling travel and tourism expenditures. However, compilers should be aware of, and be prepared to address, the challenges in using big data, including legislative issues around access to and use of data, privacy concerns, financial costs in sourcing data relative to its benefits and management and protection of data, as well as issues of methodology, in terms of data quality, and technology.

10.5.        It is good practice for any use of big data to be part of an organized and efficient data integration process and to be subject to strict standards commonly applied in quality control, data modelling, estimation and imputation. All such modifications to the statistical process should be done in a transparent way, be part of the quality assurance programme and be properly reflected in metadata.


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