BDE SC6 workshop on 5.12.2016 in Cologne – The Challenges of Big Data for societies in a changing world
5th December, 2016: 14:00 – 17:30 pm CET
The 2nd workshop in domain of the EU Societal Challenge 6 – Europe in a Changing World: Inclusive, Innovative and Reflective Societies (SC6) was held on 5 December 2016 in Cologne, Germany. It was organised by the Consortium of Social Science Data Archives – CESSDA and the Semantic Web Company – SWC, both beneficiaries in the BigDataEurope project and co-located with the EDDI2016 conference (http://www.eddi-conferences.eu/ocs/index.php/eddi/eddi16) hosted by GESIS – Leibniz Institute for Social Sciences.
The BDE team introduced the project, role of the host institutions and associate partners in it (CESSDA, SWC and NCSR Demokritos), as well as the current state of play with emphasis on past results, current developments in each SC and dissemination activities. Also the BDE Aggregator Platform (objectives, architecture, comparison with other big data platforms) was presented in a short talk.
The central theme of this workshop was the SC6 Pilot (Citizens Budget on Municipal Level) built on the BDE Platform, which was presented and discussed. Increased number of municipalities are publishing Budget Execution Data (income and expenses on a daily, weekly, monthly basis). SC6 team is currently dealing with three municipalities’ budget execution data in detail (provided and coordinated by NCSR Demokritos). The Pilot provides such data aggregated, normalised and finally analysed in the form of financial ratios to the users (the data and the visualisations are available). Further data from additional data sources should be integrated in the 2nd step of the Pilot realisation.
Furthermore the pilot of SC7 (Secure Societies) was briefly presented as of the request by the audience to give more examples of the use of the BDE Platform.
Although it was originally planned to have 3 parallel sessions, due to only few participants it was decided on spot to tackle all issues one by one and get direct input from all participants. This approach led to unexpected amount of feedback and information provided in relaxed and informal atmosphere by workshop participants.
Session 1 – Big data use cases in Social Sciences and Humanities
Eurostat Big data task force representative presented several use cases: pilot on mobile data in partnerships with telecom companies with estimations of residential population and tourists; NSIs web scraping of job posts in collaboration with DG-employment; one more pilot on enterprises’ webpages in order to obtain information that might be useful for business registers, information interesting for DG-societies statistics, and to see what is being sold; pilot on using smart meters in Denmark and Estonia to gather energy consumption data, or occupancy of houses and apartments (constantly or partially); vessel tracker website gathering information on ship’s journey i.e. speed, destination, fuel expenditure, CO2 emissions etc. Eurostat also performs analysis of Wikipedia data in context of tourism data; it started with World heritage website, but now they have data on cities (identifying sites and points of interest for people) and relationship between registered visits and actual visits.
Representative of Tartu University explained that their geography department deals with mobile phones positioning and migrations of Estonians in other countries and vice-versa. Political science department is analysing the efficiency of E-government. Unfortunately, the only open source data available to students are Internet and social media, and University has a well-developed media and social networks research institute, but problem is the lack of data mining and analysis tools.
Session 2 – Requirements for successful Big data management in Social Sciences and Humanities
Mutual conclusion was that analysis tools are not in place; most data is not (really) publicly available, and getting the data in is the most difficult part. In Slovenia all scientific work on network analysis and publications from professors can be linked and tracked. Twitter data is possible to get, but not Twitter data with geo locations. Many disciplines in Social Sciences are interconnected and it is almost impossible to separate Social Sciences data from mobile or transport data. Individual researchers cannot obtain data from companies. It was spotted that the new General Data Protection Regulation serves only big companies, but if everyone used more open data, then everyone could benefit from it more.
DDI standards are not applied in big data. Just patterns and no reason for them. BDE platform has the semantic layer, but is not DDI compliant. Data management in big data means basically collecting what is already there, and making structure in primary data, but regular research involves collecting data from the beginning.
MyData2016 conference (http://mydata2016.org/) – personal data has increasingly significant social, economic, and practical value. Personal (my) data can be offered for research. One thing is lack of tools and other is lack of knowledge that should be tackled through curricular reforms.
In all scientific fields good data and metadata should be provided, but they all struggle with it.
Session 3 – Citizen’s budget on municipal level
Ljubljana municipality data are still on yearly basis (as reports). Sending results from BDE can have an impact and influence other European municipalities to do the same. During the session, the following suggestion were provided for improvement of the current state of the SC6 pilot: features make a difference not so much raw data, and features should be user friendly. Linking data with geographic information (providing link to geographic names) or to a certain project can be useful and informative.
Final Session and Workshop Summary
At the end of the SC6 workshop all available possibilities to use BDE communication- and community channels, to stay in touch and become a part of the community, were presented and all questions around the project and the pilot as well as potential follow-up were answered.
Furthermore the published H2020 call, relevant for SC6, was presented to the audience: the related EC Call on Big Data, open until 02 February 2017: Policy-development in the age of big data: data-driven policy-making, policy-modelling and policy-implementation;
Although the number of participants was relatively small (in opposite to the 2015 workshop in Luxembourg; as well as the no-show rate of this workshop was higher than in the last workshop) the discussions and results very very rich and thereby the workshop was great success. The participants were highly interested in the project, the pilot and the BDE technologies and tools. The participant from eurostat even pointed out, that the eurostat Big Data working group will try out the the BDE Aggregator Platform – the BDI, Big Data Integrator and is also willing to provide some feedback. All participants are interested to receive more future information from BDE project and become part of the BDE SC6 community. Finally the workshop team pointed the audience to the follow up / next SC6 webinar planned for January 2017 on the topic of virtual
Title: Big Data Europe SC6: Economy (data) in new context
Date: 05 December 2017, 14.00 – 17.30pm CET
Place: GESIS, Cologne, Germany (back2back to EDDIE2016 conferece)