Communicating statistics

Communicating statistics

4.11 - 1251 ratings - Source

In this report the Public Administration Select Committee recommends that departmental press officers and government statistics staff should work together much more closely to ensure that press releases give an accurate and meaningful picture of the truth behind the figures. Government statistics press releases do not always give a true and fair picture of the story behind the statistics, sometimes going too far to create a newsworthy headline. And the Committee says the ways that statistics are presented can be a challenge even for expert users. The lay user is left confused and disengaged. The Office for National Statistics website makes figures hard to find and statistics are often presented in a confusing way, for example, in formats which are not easily understandable. Other recommendations include: the UK Statistics Authority should work proactively to bring together and clearly present key statistics, from various sources, around common themes or events, such as elections and referendums, as well as broader topics such as the labour market and economic trends; the ONS website must be improved; the Statistics Authority should find more creative ways of communicating statistics, for example, through interactive guides; publication of more raw data in machine-readable format for experts who want the full results, not just the edited highlights presented in releases for a mass audience; government statisticians produce thousands of pieces of data on demand, known as 'ad hoc statistics' and these should be published proactively, rather than simply in reaction to requests.Web-native presentation should have a much greater role, being more searchable, less intimidating and quick to use. ... 4.10 The Statistics User Forum demonstrates that the UK Statistics Authority has an active programme of professional useranbsp;...

Title:Communicating statistics
Author: Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Public Administration Select Committee
Publisher:Stationery Office - 2013-05-29

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