The Indonesian Central Bank has started collecting data from social networking sites, search engines, online gateways and satellite images so that they can shape their strategies in a better manner. While it is important to formulate good policies and implement strategies that work for the betterment of people, it is also a challenge to collect accurate data of country’s population of 260 million people which is dispersed across 17,000 islands.

Currently the central bank is relying on the previous data which were collected by the bank itself though different surveys and from the data which Central Statistics Agency (BPS) has compiled. It is believed that some of the data sets are not updated from last six months which include employment statistics, liberty ratio, literacy rate etc.

Erwin Rijanto, Deputy Governor Bank Indonesia during a press conference in Jakarta on Thursday said “Surveys take a lot of time to collect data and with big data it becomes easier to study consumer behavior in all sectors to evaluate economic growth.”

According to Bank Indonesia’s head of Statistics Yati Kuniarti, bank can now on daily basis create job opportunity ratio with the help of data from online job gateways. It has also become easier to regulate real estate market index using data from online property advertisements. Yati also reported “All these data sets will show increase in Indonesia’s economic activities”

Increase in number of users of internet and social media platforms has made it easier to collect different data. With increase in internet the value of online transactions has also increased to $1.9 Billion. This produces large numbers of data points that depict consumer patterns and labor aid rates, important for structuring better central bank strategies.

Bank Indonesia crossing its benchmark rate by 200 basis points in past 2 years did a little up-gradation in its economic growth. Household consumption rate is also stagnant to 5% over past few years. The central bank even by raising its rate by 100 basis points will not be having a stem amidst global unpredictability.

An Indonesia based economist ‘Mohammad Faisal’ said big data will provide firsthand info to central bank to make their policies more effectively and take more accurate decisions. According to the bank, for International Settlements big data is used by central banks of all the large economies of the world including Singapore, Japan, India, China, Thailand, Britain and USA.

Collecting and Accessing Data

Excerpting useful info from a large amount of data is not a cake walk. For data to be accurate it has to be treated from falsity flowing on online site and this consumes maximum time. The excerpted data is then analyzed by data scientists so that they can produce a report that helps in making bank’s strategies, Yati said. She further added, generalized data is less useful in gaining specific information such as data of e-commerce podiums where detailing of each transaction is required to study consumer trends.

Reportedly the Bank Indonesia underwent a disclosure agreement with Indonesia’s four e-commerce giants, six major real estate companies and two of the automobile market players.

One of the major challenges faced by the banks is the process of data collection as an authenticity of limited access of information of corporate sector over online portals.

The Ministry of IT and Communication regulated a set of rules that ensured security of private data, which incorporates all aspects of religion, sexuality, financial conditions and criminal reports.