Statistics office hopes for digital surveys by 2023

Statistics office hopes for digital surveys by 2023

The National Statistical Office (NSO) wants to provide fully digital surveys by 2023 to improve efficiency for survey procedures and capitalise on the government's big data analytics ecosystem.

The NSO yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with CAT Telecom to initiate the digital survey operation development, expected to start early next year.

Under the MoU, CAT will provide all related soft infrastructure and manpower to NSO's operations, including mobile application development, cloud computing servers, a big data management system, and cybersecurity.

Wanpen Poonwong, deputy director-general at NSO, said the collaboration would create an innovative data survey under a format called "conceptual design" that could guarantee more accurate information with shorter timelines and less operation costs that are more useful to state agencies and the private sector. Another goal is to eliminate undercounting of crucial information.

Apart from census data collection, NSO provides more than 30 survey projects annually for state agencies and private sectors. The data collection is categorised into economy, society, and public opinion for government policy.

"NSO began to perform some manual operations digitally in the past five years, including changing the way data is collected from paper to tablet PCs, however, it still cannot catch up with complicated data collection and big data analytics," she said.

NSO needs to upgrade survey operations to handle the growing sophistication of information in line with the digital economy and changing consumer behaviour.

Ms Wanpen said CAT agreed to provide core soft infrastructure for NSO operations for at least one year, and NSO will make a final decision after 2019 whether to continue using the infrastructure.

Dhanant Subhadrabandhu, CAT's senior executive vice-president for business and service, said NSO is the latest state agency CAT is working for a digital project.

CAT has been transforming from a telecom service provider to a digital service provider this year, offering cloud computing, cybersecurity service and solutions, and e-business.

Digital service makes up 4% of CAT's total revenue, which was 43 billion baht last year, but the digital business sees growth of more than 30% per year.

CAT targets to double revenue of its digital business from 1.1 billion baht last year to 2.2 billion by 2020 thanks to digital transformation, especially via the government's digital innovative park project being developed under the Eastern Economic Corridor roadmap.

Pichet Durongkaveroj, digital economy and society minister, said the totality of big data analytics tools will allow the government to make precise public policies concerning disaster management, while the private sector can benefit from better strategic decision-making. More accurate information, especially economic figures, will help attract new investment from global firms.

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