New Approach in Statistics Uses Smartphones instead of Diaries

Mannheim data scientist Professor Florian Keusch and researchers from six other European countries have received a grant for a new project of the European Commission and EUROSTAT, the statistical office of the European Union. The goal of the project is to develop and test intelligent, smartphone-based survey methods for official statistics in Europe.

Every ten years, EUROSTAT conducts a survey in Europe to find out how much time people spend on various activities, for example on paid work, housework, care work, social activities, travel, and leisure. Every five years, there is another survey for statistical purposes to find out how people use the money they earn and what they spend their money on. Up to now, those participating in EUROSTAT surveys had to answer the questions on paper or use simple computer logs. Now, intelligent applications (smart surveys) are to be developed and tested. Seven European countries participate in the collaborative “Smart Survey Implementation” project. The Federal Statistical Office of Germany and the University of Mannheim are the only institutions in Germany participating in the project.

The subproject at the University of Mannheim will receive funding of more than 200,000 euros for the next two years. The project will start on 1 May 2023. In addition to Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Belgium, France, Italy, and Slovenia are also part of the project.

“We want to bring existing survey methods into the 21st century and make it possible to use a smartphone app for daily logs”, the head of the subproject at the University of Mannheim, Professor Florian Keusch, who holds the chair of Data Science and Methodology, explains.

Read the the press release