Gulf Statistical Forum focuses on smart data

Muscat: The Second Gulf Statistical Forum, hosted by the Sultanate, represented by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI), in cooperation with the Gulf Statistical Centre under the theme “Smart Data,” began at the Al Bustan Palace Hotel on Monday.
Inaugurated the two-day forum, Eng Azza bint Sulaiman al Ismailiya, Minister of Technology and Communications, said, “The forum focuses on employing artificial intelligence in statistical and information work, as this technology is one of the emerging technologies accompanying the Fourth Industrial Revolution that began to be employed in several sectors including health and agriculture where this technology is expected to be used in the near future”.
Dr Khalifa bin Abdullah al Barwani, CEO of the NCSI, gave a speech in which he said, “The forum came to keep pace with the rapid transformations taking place in the world nowadays within the framework of what is known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution supported by the tremendous progress in artificial intelligence technologies, remote sensing, the Internet of Things, electronic transactions and the tremendous boom in social media”.
Khalifa bin Said al Abri,
GCC Assistant Secretary-General for Economic and Development Affairs, said the Gulf Statistical Centre since its establishment has put in place the strategies and plans necessary to enhance Gulf integration in the field of information and statistics to achieve the desired goals of coordination and joint cooperation between the centre and the national statistical agencies in the GCC countries.

Statistical and informational bodies in the GCC states, international and regional organisations in statistics and information, a number of private sector institutions interested in statistics, information, data science, researchers, academics, students and those interested in data science, take part in the forum.
A presentation on the forum and its themes was presented in light of the global development in data science in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Majd Abbar, Spokesperson for the Forum, Technology Officer in the Middle East Group, Microsoft, also made a presentation at the forum on how to take advantage of the data of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and artificial intelligence technologies to develop official statistics, invest in information wealth and transfer data from just raw data to future visions that help lawmakers and decision-makers.
A presentation was made about the activities of the Gulf Data Marathon (Datathon) organised by the NCSI during October 28 to 3 November 3 last year. A group of GCC citizens working in the Gulf statistical agencies and centres took part in the marathon.
On the sidelines of the forum, an accompanying exhibition will be held in which Gulf statistical institutions and a number of companies working in the field of information technology will showcase their products and leading experiences in using the latest technologies in the business sector, which is another opportunity to get closer to these experiences and enhance their use in developing official statistical work, and create partnerships that enhance the principle of complementarity among various institutions of the society.
The forum’s sessions started after the opening ceremony. The first session entitled “Mobile Phones Data and the Internet of Things”.
The second session was held under the title “Social Media and Website Data”. — ONA