STATISTICS, BIG DATA AND A BETTER WORLD

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1 STATISTICS, BIG DATA AND A BETTER WORLD Markandey Rai, Ph. D. Senior Advisor UN-Habitat P.O. Box Nairobi-00100, Kenya 1

2 Abstract The presentation focuses on the changing definitions of statistics and its increasing applications in all areas of activities. The era of quantification of has resulted in Big Data scenario. The statistical learning methods address these issues to a great extent. All these situations help us to have two recent slogans. Statistical science for a better world was the watchword at the 60 th World Statistics Congress held at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in July 2015 while better data, better lives is the objective of the second World Statistics Day. The presentation could be of interest to those who closely keep track of the growing applications of statistics. 2

3 Introduction The U.N. GA designated 20 October as World Statistics Day to be held every five years. This is the recognition of the role of statistics towards making a better world. The first WSD was held on 20 October 2010 with the theme of Service, Professionalism, and Integrity. Toady is the second World Statistics Day (WSD) i.e. on 20 October 2015 Better data, better lives. 3

4 60 th World Statistics Congress 2015 Rio Statistical science for a better world was the slogan of the 60 th World Statistics Congress of International Statistical Institute held at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil during July This was attended by more than 1800 participants from 118 countries. The main focus was to make the world a better place through the better use of data. 4

5 Statistics Day in India With the same objective Statistics Day is celebrated every year since 2007 in India on 29 June, the day on which late Professor P. C. Mahalanobis was born in He laid the foundation of Indian Statistical Institute at Kolkata, India in 1931 to impart training and conduct research in statistics. With the passage of time and growing popularity of the subject the institute has attained an international stature soon after its establishment. 5

6 2nd World Statistics Day after 5 years The second WSD is being celebrated after a gap of five years, a Big gap. In view of the growing importance and need of statistics in all spheres of human activities this needs to be celebrated at a shorter interval of time. May be yearly. Besides, the use of statistical science cannot be limited to official statistics only. As this plays effective role in increasing the efficiency of human efforts in the widest sense in all activities. WSD needs to address to a wider audiances. 6

7 The Big Data: Role of Computer In the current era of quantification statistics with the support of computer intensive methods has penetrated into many new areas like data mining, text mining, web mining, predictive modelling, etc. As we now aim to work towards sustainable development our dependence on the data compilation and analysis has increased many folds. The availability and use of statistical softwares have helped save our time and energy. These, in turn, have made the applications of statistics popular and affordable. 7

8 No One Will Be Left Behind We must work closely together to make this year a year of global action, one that will be remembered as the dawn of a new era of sustainable development. -Secretary-General Ban in remarks at high-level meeting of the Economic and Social Council with global financial institutions, 20 Apr

9 The road to dignity by 2030: ending poverty, transforming all lives and protecting the planet Synthesis report of the Secretary-General on the post sustainable development agenda 9 I recommended the development of a universal, integrated and human rights-based agenda for sustainable development, addressing economic growth, social justice and environmental stewardship and highlighting the link between peace, development and human rights an agenda that leaves no one behind. I also called for rigorous review and monitoring, better and more disaggregated data and goals and targets that are measurable and adaptable. I outlined a number of transformative actions that would apply to all countries. (para 36)

10 10 Millennium Development Goals(MDG s)

11 11 Sustainable Development Goals(SDG s)

12 Database Database for Decision Makers Database for Scholar High level political Forum of Decision Makers 12

13 Broader Area to cover by SDG Broader areas Broader Areas Food security and nutrition Employment_Decent work for all Sustainable agriculture Social protection Desertification Rule of law and governance Land degradation_drought Youth and education Water Sustained and inclusivegrowth Sanitation Macroeconomic policy questions Health Infrastructure development Population dynamics Energy 13

14 Means of implementation Sustainable Consmp_Prodc. Global partnership for SD Climate change Needs of special situations Disaster risk reduction Human rights Oceans and seas Right to development Forests Poverty eradication Biodiversity Global governance Promoting equality Sustainable cities_settlements Conflict prevention 14

15 Definitions of The definitions of statistics have also changed quite a bit. Rao (1997) provides its two definitions. The first one says that statistics is an inevitable instrument in search of truth while the second one considers it more a way of thinking or reasoning than a bunch of prescriptions for beating data to elicit answers. Also, he suggests it as the science of the future. 15

16 Silver (2012) considers Big Data a fashionable term and quotes that we generate 2.5 quintillion bytes of data each day, more than 90 per cent of which was produced in the last two years. The numbers do not speak for themselves, but we speak for them. Here comes the role of data mining, text mining, web mining, etc. These help obtain knowledge discovery from data (KDD). 16

17 Large Data Sets and Sample Survey 17 With the growing popularity and existence of big data the role and importance of statistics have multiplied many folds. This has almost been an issue of all areas of human activities. Before encountering big data scenarios we used to consider large data sets. Survey sampling techniques were mainly developed to deal with these situations. This is the reason that samples were referred to as the miniature populations in the beginning of era of statistics.

18 Profession Ethics For a big data set to be meaningful we need to follow some principles of data collection. As the whole data set is an outcome of efforts of many persons, we need to have some ethics, which are to be followed while collecting data. ISI established a Committee on the Code of Ethics for Statistician which was adopted by the ISI Council in july 2010 called Declaration on Professional Ethics 18

19 Professional Ethics 19 The data needs to be collected without putting any pressure or allurement to the respondents. All investigators of a data collection team should be given the same training. This will help avoid any confusion in the definitions of the terms used in an investigation. The timeframe of the data collection should be the same as far as possible. A pilot survey has to be conducted before beginning the actual data collection.

20 Declaration on Professional Ethics (ISI) Shared Profession Values Respect Professionalism Truthfulness and Integrity 20

21 Ethical Principles Persuing objetivity; Clarifying obligations and roles; Assessing alternatives impartially; conflicting interests; Avoiding preempted outcomes; Guardng priviledged information; Exibiting professional competence; Maintaining confidence in Statistics; Exposing and reviewing methods and findings; Communicating ethical principles; Bearing responsibility for the integrity of the discipline; and Protecting the interest of subjects. 21

22 Action Needed It is worth to point out that the ethics are useful only when these are followed in practice. A rigorous training to the field personnel could of immense help to realize the purpose of big data sets. 22

23 Habitat III - Towards A New Urban Agenda -why is this important? The proportion of urban population to total population stood at 16% in the 19th century; in 1996 it stood at 46%. Currently it is more than 50% of the worlds population lives in cities and large twins and this figure will rise to 66% by This has a huge impact on the consumption of resources, something like 70% of climate change is caused by the urban areas, they are also a huge use of water, energy and food. The urban nexus is a critical area of work to ensure that we can live sustainably in the future. Urban centers depend on rural areas for a range of goods and services such as the nexus areas. The conference will need to address the urban rural linkages if it is going to be successful. Urban-rural linkages can also cover range of complementary functions and flows of people, capital, goods, employment, information and technology between rural and urban areas. 23

24 What is the New Urban Agenda? The New Urban Agenda will be the outcome document agreed upon at Habitat III. In turn, it will guide the efforts on cities of a wide range of actors nation states, international development funders, United Nations programs and civil society for the next 20 years. Inevitably, this agenda will also lay the groundwork for policies and approaches that will extend, and impact, far into the future. 24

25 What will the New Urban Agenda cover? The New Urban Agenda, coming on the heels of the crystallization of the Post Development Agenda, will seek to create a mutually reinforcing relationship between urbanization and development. The idea is that these two concepts will become parallel vehicles for sustainable development. 25

26 What priorities will guide the New Urban Agenda? Beyond the specific technocratic solutions of economics and governance, several core ideas will form the ideological underpinnings of the New Urban Agenda. Initial documents suggest that, for instance, democratic development and respect for human rights will feature prominently, as will the relationship between the environment and urbanization. 26

27 Urban Data goes open with launch of new portal UN-Habitat has launched a new web portal featuring a wealth of city data based on its extensive research into some of the most pressing urban trends of recent decades. Launched during the 25th Governing Council, Urban Data allows users to explore data from a number of cities and regions around the world and compare indicators such as slum prevalence and city prosperity. For the first time, the data is also available for use under an open licence agreement. More about the Urban Data project 27

28 The ultimate disdain for data was that of Aristotle. He believed till the end of his life that women have fewer teeth than men Kausik Basu, WB, TOI, may 20, 2015 Aliens will be bear sized weight 300 kg and about 50 million in total number..furgus Simpson, Cosmologist, Univ. of Barcelona TOI, 20 May His findings are based on Bayesian Statistics model. 28

29 UPCOMING UN-Habitat EVENTS World Urban Forum April 2016 Post 2015 Development Agenda HABITAT III 2016 Third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, to take place in

30 If one person has a dream, it is just a dream, but if all people have that dream, it becomes a reality. - Genghis Khan - THANK YOU 30

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