• Cross-sectional studies

    Cross-sectional studies interview a different sample of people each time they are carried out (in contrast to surveys, which often draw from the same sample frame). They happen at one point in time and provide a snapshot that can be used to track change at the societal level.

  • Longitudinal data

    Data drawn from the same sample of people over time. Studies collecting longitudinal data happen at several points in time and can track change at the individual level. For example, interviewing the same members of households every 5 years to collect information on their labor force participation, health, education etc.

  • Citizen-generated data

    Data that people or their organizations produce to directly monitor, demand, or drive change on issues that affect them. Actively given by citizens, providing direct representations of their perspectives and an alternative to datasets collected by governments or international institutions. For example, citizens may generate data on air quality through active reporting of results of their in-home air quality monitors.

  • Big data

    See “Digital Data”

  • Digital data

    An umbrella term referring to the large amounts of data continually generated as a by-product of everyday interactions with digital products or services; often characterized by its great volume, variety, lack of structure, and high rate of velocity. For example, data is captured from our interaction with mobile phones, online services such as shopping, banking, and search activity, and social media, and can be used to generate information on mobility, sentiments and attitudes, well-being and other areas. Geospatial data from satellites can also be used to give insight into mobility, infrastructure, and other observable characteristics of landscapes.

  • Administrative data

    The set of units and data derived from an administrative source; collected primarily for administrative and not research purposes. For example, data collected by a Ministry of Health about clients using health services in a country.

  • Survey data

    Data that is derived from a statistical survey. Surveys are a way to gain information about a larger population from a smaller number of people chosen to represent the larger group. This is a way to gather in-depth information on specific topics.

  • Census data

    Demographic and/or housing, economic, agricultural and social data pertaining to all persons and their living quarters. For example, most countries conduct a Population and Housing Census every 10 years.

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