Policy Article

The Potential of Big Data for Macroeconomic Analysis

Kieler Beiträge zur Wirtschaftspolitik, 32 Download PDF

The buzzword "big data" is used to describe new and unconventional data sources that differ from standard business statistics. They are very extensive and available very promptly and at high frequency. However, these new data have a high bandwidth and complexity because they are not collected for the analysis of economic issues, but rather arise as a byproduct of various applications. Against this background, the authors present the application fields and potentials of different data sources from the field of Big Data in a comparable framework. They also highlight possible future potentials of Big Data that are currently not yet usable because, for example, the data required for this purpose is not yet systematically collected or recorded. They conclude that Big Data will be used in many fields of application, primarily as a complement to data from conventional business statistics.