A Closer Look At Our 4th Research Dive Findings


Digital connectivity enables the digital economy and produces abundant data flows. To understand the complex nature of modern economies, digital data has proven valuable. In particular, e-commerce data is important for mapping the economic impact of digitisation on retail industries, while postal data provides insights on trends of cross-border goods and document flows. Real-time information from which researchers can infer insights on physical connectivity can also contribute to the advancement of operational systems parallel to digital connectivity.

Here in Indonesia, the Government is taking steps to improve national industrial competitiveness to ensure continued economic development. To support these efforts, as well as enhance researchers’ familiarity with new types of data, Pulse Lab Jakarta recently hosted 23 researchers, consisting of economists, data analysts and engineers, for the fourth Research Dive for Development on the topic of trade and competitiveness.

The participants explored specific datasets, guided by a few senior academics and a trade advisor from the Australia Indonesia Partnership for Economic Governance (AIPEG). Having covered several areas related to trade and competitiveness, specific to Indonesia and the wider region, we have produced a supplementary technical report that captures the findings from this research sprint.

The report is structured as follows:

1. The first paper provides background information on the different datasets that were assigned to the participants.

2. The second paper discusses Port connectivity in South-East Asia using Global Marine Vessel Automatic Identification System (AIS) Data. This study analysed current port connectivity in East and South-East Asia and modelled the integration of existing network in Indonesia under the Tol Laut master plan. Among other findings, the research confirms the common perception that a lack of connectivity between Eastern Indonesia and East Asia exists; however, the successful implementation of the Tol Laut master plan should have the effect of balancing the maritime network within Indonesia.

3. The third paper explores E-Commerce Based Regional Connectivity in Indonesia using OLX data. This research investigated inter-city connectivity by analysing price uniformity as a proxy. The research found that most areas in Indonesia still have low connectivity within and between cities.

4. The fourth paper investigates methods for Constructing Proxies of Macroeconomic Trends Using E-Commerce Data provided by OLX. This research looked at the possibility of identifying proxies for economic growth. The research found, among others, that e-commerce sales can increase GDP growth indirectly, and that the sell-rent ratio of property indicates that some provinces outside Java have experienced economic growth while areas in Java have experienced a mild downturn over the timeframe of the dataset.

5. The fifth paper involves an Analysis of Correlations between Postal and Trade Network Data within ASEAN Countries and Beyond. The study confirms that there is a high correlation between postal network data and trade network data, and each of those datasets with socio-economic indicators.

Available below is the full report which details more on the research scope, methodology, results and conclusion of each study.

Pulse Lab Jakarta is grateful for the generous support from the Government of Australia.



UN Global Pulse Asia Pacific
United Nations Global Pulse Asia Pacific

UN Global Pulse Asia Pacific is a regional hub that aims to drive data innovation and sustainable development to ensure that no one is left behind.