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This paper, written by four authors from Statistics Netherlands (Daas, P.J.H., Puts, M.J., Buelens, B., van den Hurk, P.A.M.) for the 2013 New Techniques and Technologies for Statistics conference, Brussels, looks at some Dutch case studies to explore the potential for use of Big Data in a national statistical office.


More and more data are being produced by an increasing number of electronic devices
surrounding us and on the internet. The amount of data and the frequency at which they
are produced are so vast that they are usually referred to as ‘Big Data’. Because of their
abundance and the fact that they reflect part of our daily lives, Big Data sources are very
interesting from an official statistics point of view. This paper discusses opportunities and
challenges associated with using Big Data for official statistics. Experiences obtained
with analyses of large amounts of Dutch traffic loop detection records and Dutch social
media messages are used to illustrate the topics specific to the statistical analysis of Big

The full paper can be found at

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