Use of Alternative Data in the Bank of Japan's Research Activities
January 21, 2022
Research and Statistics Department
The Bank of Japan (BOJ) has recently launched a new page on its website titled, "Alternative Data Analysis." In light of the launch of this page, this paper outlines initiatives taken by the BOJ's research divisions (including but not limited to the Research and Statistics Department) in the field of alternative data analysis. Since the spread of COVID-19, the BOJ has been making active use of high-frequency data - such as mobility trends based on location data - in assessing economic conditions to conduct monetary policy. Moreover, in light of the lessons from the Global Financial Crisis of the late 2000s, the BOJ also has been continuing its efforts to strengthen the collection and use of various individual transaction data in the financial field. Such new forms of big data are called alternative data as opposed to traditional economic and financial statistics. The alternative data employed at the BOJ have been wide-ranging, including high-frequency data, textual data, and granular data; recently, the range of these data has been extending further to cover, for example, climate-related data.
Bank of Japan Review is published by the Bank of Japan to explain recent economic and financial topics for a wide range of readers. This report, 2022-E-1, is a translation of the original Japanese version, 2021-J-16, published in December 2021. The views expressed in the Review are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Bank of Japan.
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