Dear Máire


Many thanks for sharing your action plan for the statistics from the Northern Ireland June Agricultural Census, in response our compliance check. We welcome your commitment to enhancing the quality and value of these statistics and look forward to seeing the results of the plan.

Your suggested approach is well thought-out and addresses all our recommendations. We are pleased that you have already implemented some of our recommendations, and that, where possible, you are consulting others about the changes. For example, you consulted statisticians in the devolved administrations and the Good Practice Team about discontinuing the preliminary and final results bulletins, and you intend to consult users and stakeholders about re-designing the statistics bulletin.

As you seek to make improvements, we encourage you to have high ambitions for data validation and your statistical outputs. For instance, it might be helpful to review your data validation checks as part of the process of preparing the upcoming report (expected to be published early 2020). Similarly, you should ensure that you publish data tables in an Excel or open data format alongside the statistics. This will not only improve accessibility of the data, it will also encourage its re-use, and is a simple yet effective way of enhancing the value of the data for existing and potential users.

We would be happy to discuss these points with you.

Yours sincerely

Mark Pont
Assessment Programme Lead


Related Links:

Máire Brolly to Mark Pont (June 2019)

Mark Pont to Conor McCormack (March 2019)