What we want to achieve in 2022/23

Prioritise projects which improve public understanding of matters of greatest public interest

At the core of our role is ensuring statistics serve the public good. We will focus our work on the areas where we can have the most impact in supporting public understanding on the most important issues. A combination of factors will inform what we assess as ‘most important’ – for example, most in the public consciousness, most likely to change decisions, most likely to have a longer-term transformative impact, most likely to help users of statistics to understand the world around them, particularly where it informs individual or organisational choices. We will apply this critical thinking to the Trustworthiness, Quality and Value (TQV) of statistics. Examples of priority activities will include:

  • Regional economic statistics
  • Population health
  • Climate change
  • Educational attainment
  • Population estimates and migration
  • Cost of living

Our casework will complement our Assessment, Compliance Check and Systemic Review programmes, stepping in where there is misunderstanding or misuse. To support this effort we will work to better understand “public good” and how the public consume statistics. This will also be supported by gaining a better understanding of impact and more robust evaluation of our work.

Promote data sharing and linkage in a secure manner

Data sharing and linkage have the potential to support a wealth of insights. However there are currently barriers which individual organisations are struggling to overcome in isolation. We can use our voice to support data sharing and linkage, challenge producers to push harder and demonstrate how it can be done effectively and in a secure way.

Widen our reach and influence

Delivering our core work with credibility and authority underpins our ability to have a wider reach. We can use the learning from our core work to influence wider change. We will use the insights from our regulatory work to maximise our impact by identifying cross-cutting issues and driving system-wide improvement.

Wider reach also recognises that OSR has a significant influence beyond the production and development of official statistics. OSR can influence much wider uses of analysis and evidence by Government, including research, evaluation, modelling and operational delivery.

We want to seize opportunities for the principles of TQV, and OSR’s independent voice, to support good analysis and data more broadly than official statistics. This includes both across government (e.g. social research, data quality and use, evaluation and the analysis function) and beyond government (e.g. in debate about data, data ethics and AI). We will continue to promote voluntary adoption.

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