This is a blog by Ed Humpherson, the Director General for Regulation, team members at the Office for Statistics Regulation and other ad-hoc guest authors.
This is a blog by Ed Humpherson, the Director General for Regulation, team members at the Office for Statistics Regulation and other ad-hoc guest authors.
14 July 2021
At OSR we’ve long been concerned about the risks that a world of abundant information and misinformation could lead to a catastrophic loss of confidence in statistics and data –…
8 July 2021
I was very interested in a recent Social Finance report on how to secure impact at scale. One of their points is that, if you want to see impact at…
28 June 2021
Trust can seem a no-brainer. It has often featured as the guiding aim of many a strategy for statistics.
25 June 2021
Recognised by many as a early pioneer of modern computing, his work on algorithms, computing machinery and artificial intelligence have changed the way we live today.
10 June 2021
The first half of 2021 has seen further lockdowns, an impressive vaccination rollout and as we ease into the Summer, some easing of restrictions across the UK. It’s also been…
17 May 2021
Productivity is a term that whilst economists intuitively understand, it can often be difficult for non-specialists to track and under-stand productivity changes.
30 April 2021
As part of our work on statistical leadership, we are hosting a series of guest blogs. This blog is from Robert Cuffe, Head of Statistics at the BBC.
19 April 2021
As the deadline for applications for our Statistical Excellence award nears, the joint-winners of the 2020 award, the Scottish Fiscal Commission, have written a guest blog about how they won…
26 March 2021
Last March, schools and colleges across the UK were closed and the qualification regulators (Ofqual, Qualification Wales, SQA and CCEA) were directed by the respective governments of England, Wales, Scotland…
24 March 2021
This is a guest blog from Scott Heald following the launch of our new report: Reproducible Analytical Pipelines (RAP): Overcoming barriers to adoption.
12 March 2021
As part of our work on statistical leadership, we are hosting a series of guest blogs. This blog is from Will Moy, Chief Executive of Full Fact.
26 February 2021
As a communications professional, I use insights and ideas to implement and deliver impactful communications. Using statistics is a great way to use evidence and explain complicated information, but comms…
12 February 2021
Ok so that’s not quite true. I’ve been working with a focus on population and society statistics for the past three years here at the Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR)…
9 February 2021
In 2020 we assessed estimates of station usage produced by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) and designated them as National Statistics in December. In this blog, Lyndsey Melbourne,…
3 February 2021
How data-literate do Senior Leaders in Government need to be? There was a time when it would be inconceivable to imagine senior Government Ministers and officials addressing the nation accompanied…
25 January 2021
It’s roughly a year ago that I gave evidence to the House of Lords Democracy and Digital Technologies Committee. A lot has happened in a year. I did things at…
22 January 2021
Every day we see figures for number of COVID-19 deaths in the UK quoted in the media, but what do these mean, and which figures should we pay most attention…
15 January 2021
2020 was a year in which statistics and data were at the centre of public life. We became a nation of armchair epidemiologists. There’s no sign that this will change…
4 January 2021
Do statistics provide a sort of ground truth, anchoring our perceptions of the world? Last year I was invited to participate in a conference on digital innovation in mental health,…
18 December 2020
This year I’ve written 9 blogs, ranging from an exploration of data gaps to a celebration of the armchair epidemiologists. I was thinking of making it to double figures, setting…
16 December 2020
Effie Roberts and Isabel Ralphs joined our team as placement students in September this year. Difficult as this year has been, both of them have used the challenges to their…
20 November 2020
In March 2020, the NHS Business Service Authority (NHSBSA) contacted us to assess its Prescription Cost Analysis: England statistics. NHSBSA is a new official statistics producer, with a change in…
5 November 2020
During the coronavirus pandemic we have seen statistics and data take an increasingly prominent role in press conferences, media interviews and statements. Governments across the UK have used data to…
3 November 2020
This is a guest blog from Andy Haldane and Gavin Wallis, Industrial Strategy Council There’s a reason that the UK’s weak productivity performance since the financial crisis is still…
29 October 2020
Today we published the UK Statistics Authority’s Annual Review of Casework 2019/20. In the Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR) we champion production and use of statistics that serve the public…
26 October 2020
We are, apparently, living in a world awash with data. Data are available in ever greater quantity and with ever greater frequency. Yet alongside this abundance, there is a realisation…
23 October 2020
Only with a fuller picture, drawing on a range of robust sources of statistics and further evidence, will government statistics be able to fully represent the lived experiences of homeless…
19 October 2020
To help us celebrate World Statistics Day on Tuesday 20 October, John Pullinger, President of the International Association for Official Statistics, has written this guest blog. The last few months…
15 October 2020
Many statisticians and analysts are now starting to think differently and move away from off-the-shelf software. Within the Government Statistical Service this approach is known as a Reproducible Analytical Pipeline.
13 October 2020
We’ve launched a review of the way the statistical models were built and overseen. It is not our intention to apportion blame or to launch criticisms with the benefit of…
8 October 2020
Today, the Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR) published their report on ‘Unlocking the value of data through onward sharing’. As Director of a partnership that exists to do just that,…
2 October 2020
This month the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published a new tool, aiming to bring together health statistics from across government in one place. We welcome this tool to improve…
28 September 2020
The Office of Statistics Regulation (OSR) can designate statistics as ‘National Statistics’, but what does this actually mean? We need to look back to understand the future of statistic designations.
23 September 2020
Language is tricky. And especially adjectives. We need to be careful that in bringing statistics to life, we don’t choose words that could mislead or imply there’s something in the…
15 September 2020
In a recent seminar we asked members of the Government Statistical Service for three words they would use to describe Government Statistics. Among the top words we got back were…
11 September 2020
We introduced a scheme in 2018 alongside the publication of the Code of Practice that we call ‘voluntary application’. It is where an organisation releasing non-official data elects to hold themselves to the three pillars of the…
21 August 2020
On paper, linking data sets might sound simple but, in practice, it is often difficult. This is why I’m so excited about the recent work we’ve seen from the Ministry…
13 August 2020
"Quality means doing it right when no one is looking". Our recent review of HMRC statistics highlights the importance of quality in helping to ensure public trust in official statistics.
7 August 2020
Data and policy are a powerful mix, offering huge benefits to society in terms of defining, understanding and solving problems. But amidst this wave of techno-optimism, there is caution.
5 August 2020
During the coronavirus pandemic a key question has been: How many people have died because of COVID-19? This seemingly straightforward question is surprisingly difficult to answer.
31 July 2020
Today, we have made our first step towards making improvements to accessibility by releasing a new interactive tool where users can easily explore the landscape of adult social care data in one…
29 July 2020
One thing that has stood out in the Coronavirus pandemic is how quickly the Government Statistical System (GSS) has responded to the need for data during this time.
27 July 2020
What does it mean to be in poverty? It’s a question that has been debated for a long time and is one of the reasons why measuring poverty is so…
23 July 2020
Whilst statistically those medically hardest hit by COVID-19 are the older generations, children and young people are having to come to terms with significant, immediate and possibly long term changes to their…
17 July 2020
A lot of business planning focuses on what’s in a strategy or plan. But it can be just as informative to describe what’s left out.
16 July 2020
How statisticians in the four nations are working together to improve the evidence base on deprivation
1 July 2020
I was recruited in October last year as the Head of the A and T work programme and since then a lot has been happening that I’d like to share.
26 June 2020
‘Don’t trust the data. If you’ve found something interesting, something has probably gone wrong!’
22 June 2020
In recent weeks, you may have spoken with friends and family who’ve seen their income and living standards impacted in some way by COVID-19. They may have been furloughed and…
18 June 2020
Note: this blog post was updated on 27 August 2020. Today we published the findings of our review of user engagement in the statistics producers that make up the Defra…
17 June 2020
Over the last few months while we’ve been social distancing, some of us have been self-isolating, and many of us have been and will continue to experience social connectivity in…
15 June 2020
Data has played an important role in responding to the Covid-19 pandemic, driving newfound recognition of its value in understanding society and shaping policy. One of the features of the…
2 June 2020
UKSA Chair Sir David Norgrove has written to Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to reiterate concerns with the official data on testing and highlight the…
12 May 2020
Today, 12 May 2020, marks 200 years since the birth of Florence Nightingale. At a time when the world is relying so heavily on nurses it has never been more…
11 May 2020
Working out the prevalence of Covid-19 in the population is one of the crucial components of understanding the pandemic and the timing of relaxation of lockdown measures. We’ve been looking…
11 May 2020
The pandemic has triggered its own oft-repeated tropes. Like ‘no-one has had enough of experts now’ or variants thereon (see this piece in the Irish Times). Or that while it’s…
7 May 2020
Stories of extraordinary human feats abound in this pandemic. They include the efforts of health and care professionals and personal commitments to support others in the community, perhaps best shown…
24 April 2020
Social care is in crisis across Great Britain. With responsibility for social care being a devolved matter, each country has its own system in place but all share common problems.…
3 April 2020
People who provide services often need to know about local variations so that they can focus efforts in the right places. We are all witnessing this first hand at the…
26 March 2020
The world of work has changed dramatically over the last decade. The employment rate in the UK has seen record highs in recent years, and the way that people work…
26 March 2020
Albert Einstein was reputed to have said that curiosity has its own reason for existing and the important thing is not to stop questioning. This blog is a case study…
20 March 2020
This is a very difficult time for everyone as the UK adjusts to rapid changes in society and the economy. The priority is to protect the health and safety of…
16 March 2020
Penny Babb, Head of Policy and Standards in the Office for Statistics Regulation, focuses in on the benefits of hearing others’ perspectives during our review of the National Statistics designation.…
13 March 2020
Our vision is statistics that serve the public good. To realise this vision, the people who produce statistics must be capable, strategic and professional. They must, in short, show leadership.…
7 March 2020
To celebrate International Women’s Day 2020, we asked some of our OSR team about working in the world of statistics and what International Women’s Day means to them… Liddy Brankley…
3 March 2020
Being on the roads is something that most of us do every day, whether as a driver, passenger, cyclist or pedestrian. Statistics about road safety are used to inform road…
27 February 2020
It’s been two years now since we published our review of Housing and Planning statistics in the UK. Our review was extensive and proved to be a catalyst for positive…
20 February 2020
This is a guest blog by Dr Elizabeth Lemmon (University of Edinburgh) and Dr David Henderson (Edinburgh Napier University). The Unanswered Questions Do older people in need of care in…
24 January 2020
Director General for Regulation, Ed Humpherson, on the Authority's role during the November 2019 General Election.
16 January 2020
A guest blog by Annemarie Naylor, Director of Policy and Strategy at Future Care Capital.
5 November 2019
Mary Gregory, Deputy Director for Regulation, looks at some things to bear in mind when you hear statements about public funding.
4 November 2019
OSR is launching its own Twitter account!
1 November 2019
Mary Gregory blogs about the new techniques and technologies being used by OSR to enhance its reviews, starting with the media analysis of policing statistics published today.
31 October 2019
Ed Humpherson blogs on the key theme that came out of this year's GSS Awards.
2 August 2019
Penny Babb, head of policy and standards in the Office for Statistics Regulation, busts a few myths about experimental statistics.
4 July 2019
Ed Humpherson reflects on the last year, and how OSR will continue to uphold the philosophy of trustworthiness, quality and value going forward.
24 May 2019
Iain Russell, OSR theme lead for Economics, blogs on his recent regulatory work looking at the public value of devolved public finance statistics. This work also looked at the extent…
10 May 2019
A blog based on Ed Humpherson's Annual Lecture for the Centre of Science and Policy, delivered in March 2019.
26 April 2019
As NHS England undertakes a review of its access standards and targets, Ed Humpherson addresses the key considerations for maintaining public trust in A&E statistics
25 April 2019
Today we have published our business plan and regulatory work programme for 2019/20
5 April 2019
Gemma Keane, Office for Statistics Regulation, blogs on the outcomes of the Systemic Review of Statistics on Housing and Planning in the UK, and what steps statistical producers are taking…
29 March 2019
Ed Humpherson, Director General for Regulation, on the Office for Statistics Regulation's role in safeguarding official statistics.
22 February 2019
Sir David Spiegelhalter, former President of the Royal Statistical Society, blogs on the anniversary of the refreshed Code of Practice for Statistics.
5 February 2019
Caroline Jones writes on the engagement the Office for Statistics Regulation has undertaken with users of social care statistics across the UK.
1 February 2019
Ed Humpherson writes about the challenges faced by statisticians formulating strategy in a constantly changing landscape.
18 January 2019
Penny Babb explains how organisations can voluntarily apply the pillars of the Code of Practice for Statistics.
14 December 2018
Data governance sounds like an obvious thing to do, especially for statistics producers. We all have data so what could be more obvious than good governance that safeguards data uses…
7 December 2018
Ed Humpherson writes about stagnant productivity and stalling life expectancy.
26 October 2018
Pat MacLeod writes about why it’s not easy to say what’s happening to crime and the Office of National Statistics' (ONS) efforts to improve the public debate.
12 September 2018
Jeni Tennison, CEO of the Open Data Institute, responds to our Joining Up Data for Better Statistics report.
11 September 2018
To speak to people involved in linking Government datasets is to enter a world that at times seems so ludicrous as to be Kafkaesque.
7 September 2018
How to get on and influence people or what you need to know if you want to be part of important policy decisions.
3 August 2018
Mairi Spowage, Deputy Chief Executive at the Scottish Fiscal Commission, describes using the Code of Practice for Statistics in a forecasting organisation.
22 June 2018
Producers told us time and resource were barriers they faced to implementing change and yet we heard some great examples of how this is being tackled.
30 April 2018
Today we are publishing our Business Plan and Regulatory Work Programme for 2018 to 2019.
27 April 2018
Statistics are of value when they support society’s need for information; they should be useful, easy to access, remain relevant, and support understanding of important issues.
23 March 2018
Mental health has been in the forefront of news and debate for a while now.
16 March 2018
These reviews allow us to look at the relationships and signposting between statistics and to spot gaps and overlaps.
23 February 2018
"After the fears about post truth, we've now got the truth surge". So said Rupert McNeil, Civil Service Chief People Officer, to me...
16 February 2018
The new Code of Practice will be published next Thursday.
2 February 2018
At the VISA innovation centre at Paddington in London, I met this little robot.
25 January 2018
To help us meet this challenge we are inviting views on our 2018/19 work programme and are requesting your input through our consultation.
22 December 2017
My big problem with my favourite innovation of the year - the Reproducible Analytical Pipeline (RAP) - is this: what should I call it for my end of year blog?
15 December 2017
One of the main advantages of applying the Code principles is about enhancing trust by being transparent.
8 December 2017
The structure of the Quality pillar is essentially the same as in the draft Code, based around a basic statistics process model: Suitable Data Sources; Sound Methods, and Assured Data…
17 November 2017
We partnered with Sense About Science, an independent campaigning charity that challenges the misrepresentation of science and evidence in public life, to meet with nine members of the public.
3 November 2017
We received more than 100 formal and informal responses to our Code of Practice consultation.
27 October 2017
Innovation should be at the forefront of a statistical system that meets its users’ needs.
13 October 2017
Credible statistics that command trust are an essential public asset and the lifeblood of democratic debate.
5 October 2017
It has been great to get out and about to speak about the draft Code of Practice for Statistics over the past few months.
15 September 2017
Guest blog from Richard Laux, Deputy Head of Regulation, on the role of families of statistics.
18 August 2017
We’ve adopted the philosophy of Lean, based on the why (and how) questions. Armed with this, we’ve sought to breathe new life into what was a list of detailed practices.
4 August 2017
Guest blog from Kimberly Cullen, Statistics Assessor. Breakfast in the Boardroom: Reflections on the Code and the wider analytical community.
21 July 2017
Guest blog from Richard Laux, Deputy Head of Regulation, on benefits from voluntary compliance.
29 June 2017
In February, I asked NHS England and NHS Digital to consider publishing more timely statistics on accident and emergency performance.
23 June 2017
Big Data Analytics Conference on Data Quality at the Francis Crick Institute, June 2017.
21 June 2017
Today we are publishing our Business Plan and Regulatory Work Programme for 2017/18, placing the public interest in statistics at the heart of our work.
24 March 2017
In the last few weeks, we’ve made three comments on health statistics... They all show the importance of improving the public value of statistics.
6 March 2017
Priorities for our 2017/18 Regulatory Work Programme - we welcome your views.
1 February 2017
Homelessness is an important issue in its own right. It is also an illustration of the concern for public value that underpins the Office for Statistics Regulation.
19 January 2017
There are a range of migration-related datasets available across different Government departments. The key to a comprehensive picture lies in bringing these datasets together.
14 December 2016
Today we publish the Code of Practice Stocktake Report. We explored the extent to which the Code could do an even better job as a guide to behaviour.
24 November 2016
The purpose of the Office for Statistics Regulation is to enhance public confidence in the trustworthiness, quality and value of statistics.
26 October 2016
I recently attended the Scottish Official Statistics Conference. My speech focused on whether official statistics can continue to be relevant in this changing world.
5 September 2016
It is an exciting time for us in the regulatory team of the UK Statistics Authority as we work to enhance our role as the regulator of statistics.