EU Science Hub

Harnessing the potential of big data to better manage migration

Feb 09 2018

The use of non-conventional data sources for migration policymaking was the topic of a workshop organised by the European Commission's Knowledge Centre on Migration and Demography (KCMD) and the International Organization for Migration's Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC).

The outcomes of the workshop, including all presentations made and video resources are now available online.

A report on big data and alternative data sources on migration highlights concrete examples, challenges and opportunities.

The document announces the plan for a joint initiative by KCMD and IOM’s GMDAC to harness the potential of big data for the analysis of migration and its relevance for policymaking.

The KCMD and IOM’s GMDAC are working to overcome the challenges and systematise the use of big data sources to support migration policymaking.

Despite growing efforts from national governments and the international community, official statistical data on migration are still commonly agreed to have limitations.

These limitations create gaps in the information needed to design effective migration policies.

On 30 November 2017, the KCMD and IOM’s GMDAC organised the workshop Big Data and alternative data sources on migration: from case studies to policy support to weigh the promise and challenges of using big data as alternative source for understanding migration and informing public policies.

As a follow-up, the KCMD and IOM’s GMDAC are planning to create a Big Data for Migration Alliance (BD4M).

Interested experts from around the globe will work together to realise the potential of big data to complement traditional data sources through

  • awareness-raising,
  • knowledge-sharing,
  • capacity-building and
  • policy-oriented research.