Code of Practice for Statistics

V3: Clarity and insight

Statistics and data should be presented clearly, explained meaningfully and provide authoritative insights that serve the public good.


V3.1 Statistics, data and explanatory material should be relevant and presented in a clear, unambiguous way that supports and promotes use by all types of users.

V3.2 Statistics should be accompanied by a clear description of the main statistical messages that explains the relevance and meaning of the statistics in a way that is not materially misleading. They should be illustrated by suitable data visualisations, including charts, maps and tables, where this helps aid appropriate interpretation of the statistics.

V3.3 Comparisons that support the appropriate interpretation of the statistics, including within the UK and internationally, should be provided where useful. Users should be signposted to other related statistics and data sources and the extent of consistency and comparability with these sources should be explained to users.

V3.4 Advice should be given about the appropriate use of the statistics and data. The lead statistician or analyst should be visible and approachable to users, be encouraged to explain the statistics publicly and support their use.

V3.5 Statistics producers should collaborate with experts and producers of related statistics and data to provide a comprehensive and coherent narrative for the statistical topic.

Description Link Source
Guidance on how to use a standard and straightforward way of assessing comparability of their statistics with other parts of the UK. Guidance on comparing official statistics across the UK GSS
Practical guidance and other resources about writing about statistics, presenting statistics and peer reviewing statistics. Includes information about networks and events. Guidance on communicating statistics GSS
Guidance for producers of official statistics who need to design graphs and tables that are clear, consistent, informative and easy to use. It sets out some principles to think about when visualising and presenting statistical data. Guidance on producing effective graphs and tables in official statistics GSS
Guidance on how to displays statistics in spreadsheets and releasing statistics in open formats. Guidance on releasing statistics in spreadsheets (PDF) GSS
A statement that sets out the UK Statistics Authority’s (UKSA) expectations in relation to the drafting of statistical reports. UK Statistics Authority’s Standards for Statistical Reports (2012) (PDF) UKSA
National Statistician's guidance on interpreting and implementing the principles and practices of Code of Practice 1.0. This document will be updated to better reflect Code of Practice 2.0, but producers will still find it useful. National Statistician’s Guidance: Quality, Methods, and Harmonisation (2009) (PDF) UKSA
National Statistician’s guidance that brings out the key points of relevance for the Government Statistical Service (GSS) when preparing commentary for statistical first releases, along with examples. It is intended as supporting material for statistics producers in driving forward improvements. Guidance on preparing first releases (PDF) GSS
A webpage with links to a series of guidance documents on harmonisation, including what harmonisation is and its aims, the Harmonisation Handbook and the GSS Harmonised Principles. Harmonisation within the GSS webpage GSS
A quarterly newsletter that provides updates on harmonisation practice in business and social surveys and any other relevant information. GSS harmonisation newsletter GSS
A document setting out the GSS’s ambitions for producing open data and what it is looking to achieve in this area. Open data and the Government Statistical Service (2012) (PDF) GSS
The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe’s (UNECE) guide on Making Data Meaningful is intended as a practical tool to help managers, statisticians and media relations officers use text, and visualisations to bring statistics to life for non-statisticians. It contains suggestions, guidelines and examples. A UNECE guide to Making Data Meaningful UNECE


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