Office for Statistics Regulation’s Areas of Research Interest

26 October 2023
Last updated:
21 February 2024

5. Cross-cutting interests

5.1 Background

To deliver against our vision of statistics that serve the public good, in OSR we describe our work under the headings of how statistics are produced, how they are used, and how they are valued. However, in practice it is natural that elements of our work and interests cut across all of these three areas.

5.2 Questions

Some of the questions we are interested in which span multiple areas of our mission (how statistics are produced, used and valued) include:

5.2.1 Interactions

  • How does the way that statistics are produced influence the value that users get from them, and how can this be addressed to maximise value?
  • To what degree to statistics need to be directly used for them to provide value (or do people value outcomes from others using them instead)?

5.2.2 Changing world

  • How have evolutions in our statistical system (such as the greater focus on administrative sources for statistics) influenced how statistics are produced, used, and valued?
  • How may advances in wider society (such as the increasing sophistication of large language models) influence how statistics are produced, used, and valued?

5.2.3 Wider evidence landscape

  • How are statistics valued and used in the wider evidence landscape, such as in comparison to privately produced statistics, anecdotal evidence or management information, and what influences this?
  • What sets official statistics apart within the wider evidence landscape, how well is this understood, and how does this influence confidence in them, their use and how they are valued?

5.2.4 Communicating statistics

  • How does the communication of statistics influence their use and how they are valued?
  • What factors ought to be considered in the communication of statistics, for example the audience, uncertainty around the estimates?

5.2.5 Statistics representing society

  • How well or poorly do statistics represent society, and what are the impacts of this on how they are used and valued?
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