In 2009, the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors endorsed a set of recommendations to support enhanced policy analysis of emerging risks and close the data gaps identified following the global financial crisis. Called the data gaps initiative, it is now in its second phase (DGI-2)
The Financial Stability Board (FSB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) released a report on progress, finding that:
- Considerable progress was made by the participating economies during the second year of the DGI-2. Areas of progress include, among others, shadow banking monitoring, reporting of data on Global Systemically Important Banks (G-SIBs), and improved coverage, timeliness, and periodicity of sectoral accounts. Also, all G20 economies now report their International Investment Position quarterly and core Coordinated Portfolio Investment Survey data semiannually.
- Key challenges remain, and high-level political support is crucial to overcome them. Challenges include adequate resource allocation in terms of skills and information technology, appropriate maintenance of the new DGI datasets and infrastructure for data access and data sharing, and strengthened inter-agency cooperation at the national level.
- Further progress in implementing the DGI-2 is expected from the participating economies and will be reported to G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors. To facilitate progress, the 2019 DGI-2 work programme will continue to include thematic workshops, bilateral meetings, as needed, and the annual DGI Global Conference. The FSB Secretariat and the IMF Staff, in close cooperation with the Inter-Agency Group on Economic and Financial Statistics and the participating economies, will continue to monitor progress and report back to the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors on an annual basis until the completion of the initiative in 2021.
One section of the report showed that progress is being made in measuring the digital economy and the use of big data for policymaking:
- The IMF and the OECD, for example, accelerated work on measuring the digital economy.
- The IMF also advanced work on the use of big data for policymaking. In 2016, the IMF started to investigate the potential of big data for macroeconomic and financial statistics. Issues, such as data quality concerns, difficulties in accessing data, and new required skills and technologies were identified.
- Several G20 economies are using big data to compile real estate price statistics. Also, the Irving Fisher Committee on Central Bank Statistics has also been promoting work on big data among central banks.