Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

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

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.
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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.

Last updated on 16/07/2015