Regulatory guidance – Unlocking the value of data through onward sharing

8 October 2020
Last updated:
11 April 2022

Developments to official statistics

Further analyses of data have long been a source of quality assurance and insight that official statistics producers can draw on. This is reflected in the fact that one of the criteria research projects seeking accreditation under the DEA can use to demonstrate that the work serves the public interest is improving the quality, coverage or presentation of existing research, including official or National Statistics.

For this to work effectively in all settings, not just where the work has this explicit aim, there must be effective communication between data users, data providers and the teams responsible for official statistics production about:

  • Improving measures and methods – for example new ways of defining or estimating key concepts. This is also important for reproducibility and any accompanying documentation is of wider value to the research community too.
  • New insights that could usefully become part of routine statistical releases – for example where data have been linked or the analyses has covered topics not included in published outputs.
  • Improving data quality – particularly where producers can use feedback to help address quality problems at source, or at least before further supply to other users.

Heads of Profession for statistics and lead statisticians should be proactive in ensuring they are aware of projects being undertaken using their data so that these opportunities can be identified.

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