Users of statistics
Key facts about users of statistics
The Code of Practice for Statistics states that users should be at the centre of statistical production
Users of statistics are varied, and include individual citizens, organisations and governments. Users have a key role in providing challenge to the statistical system and producers have a responsibility to seek views and respond to them
It is only through regular dialogue between producers and users that the statistical system can ensure that official statistics remain responsive to user needs
Users of statistics
Statistics are valuable where they support society’s need for information, including both public use and policy development and evaluation.
Users play a key role in the system; it is only through regular dialogue between producers and users that the system can ensure that official statistics remain responsive to user needs.
The user engagement strategy for statistics sets out a four-year plan of action for building a more meaningful and sustained dialogue between producers, users and potential users of statistics. The strategy sets out a vision for user engagement that is embedded into an organisation’s wider engagement activities and is actively implemented throughout the statistical development, production and review cycle.
System-wide activities are co-ordinated by the User Support and Engagement Resource (USER) hub, and include the GSS user engagement champion network, as well as theme-based engagement. Despite being a GSS initiative (which traditionally spans UK, Scottish and Welsh governments only), the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) is also included in the strategy for user engagement and participates in the system-wide activities that sit under it.
There are different types of users and it is important that the system hears from a wide range of them through the different stages of development and production. Users have a key role in providing challenge to the system and producers have a responsibility to seek views and respond to them. Some types of users include:
- voluntary organisations
- analysts from across and outside government
- policy makers
they may be:
- technical experts
- expert analysts
- interested members of the public
- survey respondents
- first time users of government statistics
they may be using statistics to:
- conduct research
- evaluate policies
- plan and allocate finances
- find answers to queries on topical matters such as heath or education
- search for government statistics
Users of statistics can engage with producers through platforms such as StatsUserNet. StatsUserNet is the ONS community site that aims to stimulate engagement between users, and between users and producers of official statistics. The site carries news of interest to users, materials relating to relevant events, discussion forums and other facilities. It provides a unique online community space for statistics producers and users to make contact, learn about each other’s work and share information, documents and views.
Producers have a responsibility to communicate statistics in way that is accessible to different types of users. Producers should also ensure that data quoted publicly, for example in parliament or the media, is made available to all in a transparent way.Back to top