Sessione 12

Big Data and social policies: A new frontier of data management for decision-making in the social field?

Coordinatore/i di sessione Deriu Fiorenza, Università di Roma La Sapienza
Stützer Cathleen, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
Testo della call
Nowadays, the management and the analysis of Big Data represent both a main challenge to the current way of affording problems in many different fields, and a strategic opportunity to innovate official statistics on which policy-making processes are based (Daas, Puts, Buelens. and van den Hurk, 2013; Struijs, Braaksma and Daas, 2014; Reimsbach-Kounatze, 2015).

Big Data represent a challenge with respect to the continuous growing number and types of reachable data sources; the need to deal with complex analysis in real time; the low level of data structure; the high level of redundancy, inconsistency and noise affecting their quality; and finally to the legal issues related to individual privacy and rights on data ownership.

Anyway, they actually constitute a strategic opportunity to support decision making in many fields (Mayer-Schönberger, Cukier, 2013).

Is actually social policy one of the fields in which Big Data could be used to improve and facilitate the decision processes oriented to planning and programming both national and local social plans? Could Big Data support the collection of data oriented to the quality assessment of social services provided to citizens?

Population censuses, sample surveys as well as administrative archives and registers are revealing some critical issues with respect to harmonisation, integration and inconsistency in data collection. These problems could be partly overcome by the enormous informative potential offered by new sources and Big Data (Rango, 2014). In fact, policy-making should be based on a wider and more sensible information system. At the same time, the role of Big Data for Official statistics is still debated and a general consensus has not yet reached, especially in the field of social statistics (Eurostat, 2014).

This session would contribute to this debate. Hence, it is opened to national and international contributes of scholars, researchers and professionals engaged in building up integrated information systems based on the use of Big Data to support decision-making processes in the social policy field. The presentation of innovative solutions integrating the use of both new technologies and data analytics methods oriented to extract useful information on social issues in the field of social policies are welcome.



Daas, P. J., Puts, M. J., Buelens, B., & van den Hurk, P. A. (2015). Big data as a source for official statistics. In: Journal of Official Statistics, 31(2), 249-262.

Daas, P. J., Puts, M. J., Buelens, B., & van den Hurk, P. A. (2013, April). Big Data and official statistics. In Paper for the 2013 NTTS conference.

Mayer-Schönberger, V., Cukier, K. (2013) Big Data: A Revolution that Will Transform how We Live, Work, and Think, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston, New York.

Reimsbach-Kounatze, C. (2015), “The Proliferation of “Big Data” and Implications for Official Statistics and Statistical Agencies: A Preliminary Analysis”, OECD Digital Economy Papers, No. 245, OECD Publishing, Paris.

Struijs, P., Braaksma, B., & Daas, P. J. (2014). Official statistics and big data. In: Big Data & Society, 1(1), 2053951714538417.

Relazione di apertura
Eventualmente da definire in fase successiva
Persone di riferimento e relativi contatti
Deriu Fiorenza, Email:
Stützer Cathleen M. Email: