Using big data to advance policy research


On May 23rd, the Jobs & Skills Unit organised an expert workshop on how big data can be used to advance policy research, in close collaboration with the Regulatory Policy Unit. The aim of this workshop was to bring together academics and policy-makers working on this topic from different perspectives. Advances in digital technologies have made it possible to collect, process and analyse massive amounts of data, creating new opportunities for policy-making and research.

The workshop was kicked-off with a keynote speech by Martijn Poel (Technopolis), who presented the results of a large study prepared for the Data4Policy project. The first session consisted of presentations by researchers who had used Big Data to explore societal challenges, such as inequality and exclusion, migration and employment. The second session was devoted to methodological developments in the field. One of the conclusions that emerged from the discussions was that Big Data show a lot of potential, but more work is needed in order to go beyond descriptive research. Over 40 participants contributed to the discussions, including academics, policy-makers, and representatives from the EU, international organisations and the private sector from all across Europe.

The workshop was organised in the framework of the FP7 InGRID project, which aims to integrate and innovate European social sciences research infrastructures on poverty and living conditions and on working conditions and vulnerability.

More information on the expert workshop can be found here