The Tale of Environment Data
One of the problem with applied research is on the data availability. For example, in energy research, we need to know the list of power plant, or the level of GHG, or the reserves of energy. However in my experiences the problem with the data as below:
- Data is there, but the number is vary (inconsistent) e.g Renewable energy reserves in Indonesia from ESDM vs BPS vs DEN
Data is there, but it is an old data e.g Air Pollution data is from 1994 World Bank Report, Hydropower is from 1991 JICA Report
Data is there, but its only cover a small part e.g Data of Air Pollution in Serpong (2011), Data in 5 cities (2013)
So my strategies with data variation as below:
1. Choose the most official data
a. GHG Data is from Indonesia Submission of UNFCCC (2010), it is not the latest, but it most ‘accountable’. The case of data that is both official, choose the one with similar format
b. Energy Data I use DEN, instead of ESDM/ESDM Directorate
c. Air Pollution Data, I use old Worlbank 1997 Report, combined with latest 2009 overview. Its not perfect but its the closest that I can have.
2. Always value the primary data
Primary data is the one that most expensive. Measurement made on road for one month in a city in Indonesia is more expensive than the secondary statistical analysis. Always know this type of data.
3. Theoretical Data always come the last