The Office for Statistics Regulation undertakes reviews and brings stakeholders together to explore sets of statistics in a thematic area or on a cross-cutting topic. This work allows us to explore the public value of the statistics and to look for any system-wide issues. Each project has at its core, discussions with people who use statistics as well as with those who produce them.
By public value we mean, are statistics as valuable as they should be to society?
- Are statistics sufficiently easy to find?
- Are statistics relevant, and helping the public to understand important issues society is grappling with?
- Is the system responsive to the needs of users of statistics?
In every systemic review we have done, we have found examples of good practice where actions of statistics producers are supporting the public value of statistics. Examples include generating new statistics or analyses in response to user requests, setting up portals to pull together statistics on a particular topic produced in different parts of the system, and pulling together statistics on a related topic into one publication.
In each systemic review we have also found areas for improvement. Examples include helping users find statistics, explaining what is known about a subject based on various related statistics, and filling gaps where statistics are not currently available to inform public debate. We may identify a need for producers to work together on planning, prioritisation and engagement with users.