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This blog post was published under the 2015-2024 Conservative Administration

World Statistics Day - why we should celebrate it

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Better policymaking, Civil Service Leaders
John Pullinger (head and shoulders)
John Pullinger, CB

In the last week alone, government statisticians have released nearly 100 new statistics on important areas such as the prison population, the agricultural industry, crime, overseas travel and tourism, bovine tuberculosis, UK economic forecasts, the labour market, Universal Credit, consumer prices, regional rainfall and water stocks, hate crime and jobs paid less than the living wage.

Each one of these releases has given new insights into issues of public interest. Each is there to help improve government decision-making and inform public debate.

Today is World Statistics Day which provides a great opportunity to celebrate the work of civil servants in all departments whose working lives are dedicated to making this vital contribution to our national life.

Do join the celebrations. There is a social media quiz using the #StatsDay15 hashtag. There is a week-long programme of activities at the Health and Social Care Information Centre, culminating in an open afternoon for teams to showcase their work with a ‘Statistics Bake-Off’. There are 'statistical activities' in the foyer of the Welsh Government offices, plus cake. And much more.

Do also visit visual.ons for the latest data from the Office for National StatisticsWhether or not you sampled some statistical baking or enjoyed a statistical quiz, do invite your departmental statisticians to your next team meeting. They will help you make better decisions.

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  1. Comment by Bill posted on

    99% of people will not read this.

  2. Comment by Chris posted on

    Statistics are great but unfortunately the world over, politicians, governments and pollsters constantly seek to manipulate results by loading questions when collecting data and selectively quoting subsets of data but missing out the big picture. The media unfortunately exacerbate the problem by doing exactly the same thing to create a sensationalist headline where none exists.
    I am hugely in favour of statistics but unfortunately most reporting makes a mockery of the work done by statisticians.
    What we need is for all reporting of statistics to provide links to full details of the data being used instead of the current fashion for lazy journalists to quote headline grabbing snapshots. The big danger is these snapshots are often what is pushing policy forward with flawed information or just downright lies.