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Big data and machine learning in central banking


  • Sebastian Doerr
  • Leonardo Gambacorta
  • José María Serena Garralda


This paper reviews the use of big data and machine learning in central banking, leveraging on a recent survey conducted among the members of the Irving Fischer Committee (IFC). The majority of central banks discuss the topic of big data formally within their institution. Big data is used with machine learning applications in a variety of areas, including research, monetary policy and financial stability. Central banks also report using big data for supervision and regulation (suptech and regtech applications). Data quality, sampling and representativeness are major challenges for central banks, and so is legal uncertainty around data privacy and confidentiality. Several institutions report constraints in setting up an adequate IT infrastructure and in developing the necessary human capital. Cooperation among public authorities could improve central banks' ability to collect, store and analyse big data.

Suggested Citation

  • Sebastian Doerr & Leonardo Gambacorta & José María Serena Garralda, 2021. "Big data and machine learning in central banking," BIS Working Papers 930, Bank for International Settlements.
  • Handle: RePEc:bis:biswps:930

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    Cited by:

    1. Hans Genberg & Özer Karagedikli, 2021. "Machine Learning and Central Banks: Ready for Prime Time?," Working Papers wp43, South East Asian Central Banks (SEACEN) Research and Training Centre.

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    More about this item


    big data; central banks; machine learning; artificial intelligence; data science;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G17 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Financial Forecasting and Simulation
    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill

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    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


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