Updating the paradigm of official statistics

Sofie De Broe*, P. Struis, P. Daas, A. van Delden, J. Burger, Jan van den Brakel, O. ten Bosch, K. Zeelenberg, W. Ypma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This paper aims to elicit a discussion of the existence of a paradigm shift in official statistics through the emergence of new (unstructured) data sources and methods that may not adhere to established and existing statistical practices and quality frameworks. The paper discusses strengths and weaknesses of several data sources. Furthermore, it discusses methodological, technical and cultural barriers in dealing with new data and methods in data science; cultural as in the culture that reigns in an area of expertise or approach. The paper concludes with suggestions of updating the existing quality frameworks. We take the position that there is no paradigm shift but that the existing production processes should be adjusted and that existing quality frameworks should be updated in order for official statistics to benefit from the fusion of data, knowledge and skills among survey methodologists and data scientists.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-360
JournalStatistical Journal of the IAOS
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • non-probability sources
  • selectivity
  • model-based estimates
  • quality dimensions
  • input-driven approach


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