Can Big Data Bridge Gaps in Migration Statistics

Traditional statistical data on international migration suffers from the problems (gaps) of inconsistency in definitions, differences in geographical coverages, absence of reasons for migration, timeliness and limitations in demographic characteristics. The global-level migration indicators are relatively under-developed; hence, countries are expected to improve capacity to generate timely, reliable, and comparable data on migration to help guide policy makers in devising evidence-based policies and plans of action to tackle migration aspects of the Social Development Goals. Although there is a novel list of potential data sources that could provide valuable, real-time insights, these remain largely untapped for the time being. To be more specific , the data collected or originated by MS, held by EU Agencies and the dissemination of this data faces sensitivity obstacles linked to legal terms, purpose of the data, etc. Likewise, some administrative data collected by some MS (e.g. data on recently arrived migrants, percentage of immigrants who have taken part in integration initiatives, longitudinal studies of integration measures) exists but is not available to EU policy-makers. Moreover, data on public opinion and perceptions has an increasing importance and despite some such opinion data exists (e.g. Gallup), intricate analysis is required. Finally, new sources of data and Big Data (e.g. mobile phone records, social media data, etc.) exist and it could be used to fill some of the gaps of the traditional data. There are commercial and/or privacy issues to solve for having access to that data and substantial research and analysis are required before it can meet policy requirements. Despite the gained recognition of the expediency of big data, policy makers cannot currently access potentially beneficial data such as mobile phone data, satellite images or internet-based data. Overall improving migration data is a crucial step to improving migration governance since better data is needed in order to bring about sustainable social and economic development and national migrant data strategies are needed to inform good policies. This talk will discuss the existing gaps and shortcomings of the migration statistics and the potential utilisation of Big Data analytics for bridging these gaps. Prof. Tuba Bircan, Interface Demography, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)

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Availability On-Line
Course Can Big Data Bridge Gaps in Migration Statistics?" Prof. Tuba Bircan, Interface Demography, VUB
Length 121 minutes
Lesson number
Prerequisites NO
Provider Institution Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium
Target users Social Scientists
Target users Data Scientists
Thematic Cluster Human Mobility Analytics [HMA]
Training material typology Other
system:type TrainingMaterial
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Field Value
Author Rapisarda Beatrice
Maintainer Rapisarda Beatrice
Version 1
Last Updated 29 December 2020, 17:15 (CET)
Created 23 November 2020, 11:21 (CET)