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Reports and studies :: Feasibility Study on Statistical Methods on Internet as a Source of Data Gathering (SMART 2010/030)

Feasibility Study on Statistical Methods on Internet as a Source of Data Gathering (SMART 2010/030)

5 October 2012

Citizens and enterprises increasingly leave behind ‘digital footprints’. By ‘mining’ these footprints it is possible to describe a wide range of socio-economic phenomena in near real-time.

This research project proposes how to use the Internet As a Data source (IaD) to complement or substitute traditional statistical sources. The pros and cons of nine different IaD-methods are discussed, on the base of a desk review of existing practices and of three field pilot experiments. They cover all three basic types of methods:

  • User centric measurements that capture changes in behaviour at the client (PC, smartphone) of an individual user;
  • Network-centric measurements that focus on measuring properties of the underlying network;
  • Site-centric measurements that obtain data from webservers (robots).

National Official Statistical Institute and the Commission services are invited to continue exploring the opportunities offered by those methods.