The World Bank
The World Bank featured PriceStats and The Billion Prices Project as a case study in its 2014 report on big data and its potential impact in the development sector. In the report, Alberto explains his motivation for beginning the Billion Prices Project, how the data is generated & interpreted, and how the information can be implemented.
Massachusetts Council on Economic Education
In June 2013, Pilar presented at a professional development program for teachers put on by the Massachusetts Council on Economic Education (MCEE) and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. This program targeted teachers using statistics in both finance and economic classes. Pilar discussed how PriceStats’ use of online data to develop global, real-time economic statistics can be used by both businesses and policy makers.
The professional development program also featured Charles Wheelan, author of Naked Economics—Undressing the Dismal Science and Naked Statistics—Stripping the Dread from the Data, a hands-on workshop, and a presentation on how to incorporate basic statistics into classes.
United Nations Global Pulse
In 2011-12, PriceStats participated in the UN Global Pulse, an initiative that aims at leveraging innovative technologies and data sources to track international development in real-time. The Global Pulse team is confident that the analysis of social media and other sources of Big Data represent an untapped opportunity to improve targeting of policies and programs to help communities in need.
The first phase of this initiative included research collaboration with six firms currently using innovative data sets for private purposes (Crimson Hexagon, PriceStats, Jana, SAS, and a consortium of French centers led by the Complex Systems Institute of Paris Ile-de-France & IFRIS). Results from the initial series of projects have underlined several promising approaches for real-time monitoring of unemployment and food security.
The collaboration between PriceStats and Global Pulse focused on the construction of a daily bread price index for six major Latin American countries. The findings illustrate how the online retail prices reveal offline street price changes weeks before official numbers were able to reflect the inflation, potentially allowing policy makers to better prepare for the negative effect on consumers.