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Policy-Making in the Big Data Era: Opportunities & Challenges

When Jun 15, 2015 09:00 AM to
Jun 17, 2015 05:00 PM
Where Cambridge, England, United Kingdom
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Abstract deadline: 20 Jan 2015


Current decision-making processes are far from being optimal to represent the best interests of the public and stakeholders, as contemporary policy domains are very complex, high-dimensional and include a large dose of uncertainty. The massive amounts of data captured in our physical world through sensors and electronic devices provide a huge potential to advance these processes. With the availability of new technologies, new formulations are needed on fundamental questions such as how to conduct a census, how to produce labour statistics, or how to incorporate data mined from social media and administrative operations. Efficient procedures to draw links between large-scale data-processing technologies and existing expert knowledge in major policy domains would potentially offer chances to make policy development processes more citizen-focused, taking into account public needs and preferences supported with actual experiences of public services. This however comes with serious privacy and security concerns as intersecting various data sources could reveal unprecedented private information.

The conference committee invites contributions from researchers, policy makers, practitioners in industry and all other stakeholders to explore latest developments and potentials in policy-making processes. Topics that will be covered include but are not limited to the following:

  • Information and evidence in digital age
  • Policy making mechanisms and modelling approaches
  • Existing methodologies, case studies, best practices for use of Big Data in policy
  • Data collection, storage, processing and access procedures
  • Cumulative learning in digital environments, potentials in policy context, challenges and limitations
  • Interaction of domain expertise with digital processing technologies; dealing with imperfect/uncertain data; psychology/behaviour of decision
  • Security and privacy issues; ethics and law


Proposals for individual presentations, research panels, fringe meetings, policy workshops and tutorials are all welcome.

Call for Papers

This conference is an independent initiative supported by a range of individuals from academia, government, and the non-profit sector; and by the following key UK-based institutions:

  • Public Policy Platform, London Centre for Social Studies (LCSS)
  • Centre for Science and Policy (CSaP), University of Cambridge
  • Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge
  • Data Science Institute (DSI), Imperial College London
  • Department of Methodology, London School of Economics (LSE)
  • The Royal Statistical Society (RSS)


More information about this event…