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Big data on the big stage at the World Data Forum 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has posed many challenges for the global statistical community. During times of crisis, the world needed to digitalise quickly, make rapid decisions and collect new types of data to battle the disease. But how to maintain integrity and trust in data when decision-makers need to react fast? These questions and more were discussed at the United Nations World Data Forum 2021 on the 3-6 October in Switzerland.

Closing gala of the World Data Forum in Bern. Photo: Siim Esko

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Building resilience through mobile positioning data in Estonia and Indonesia

Mobile positioning data (MPD) has been used in crisis management for years now and it has been proven to be very accurate in monitoring mobility. Near real-time MPD has successfully been used in the past, e.g. after the earthquake in Haiti in 2008, and in Nepal, Vanuatu and The Gambia to monitor disasters or virus spreading. There is increasing interest among policymakers in measuring hazardous events and disasters. National statistical systems collect basic data on population, economy, and other relevant topics necessary for disaster risk management, but the problem is that census and survey data, although reliable, have limitations in measuring large-scale population movements due to logistical constraints in data collection. (Arai et al., 2021)
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