Presentation and Dissemination Committee
The Presentation and Dissemination Committee (PDC) is a sub-committee of the Statistical Policy and Standards Committee and its main responsibilities are:
- developing and maintaining professional standards for presenting and disseminating official statistics
- ensuring accessibility of official statistics for all users
It aims to meet its responsibilities by building capability, setting and raising standards, sharing best practice, encouraging innovation and celebrating success.
Last revision: December 2016
The Presentation and Dissemination Committee (PDC) communicate the strategic direction and embed best practice in the presentation and dissemination of official statistics across the GSS.
In this context, presentation and dissemination relates to:
- presentation and commentary of official statistics
- dissemination of official statistics and support for open data through websites and the release calendar
The Presentation and Dissemination Committee is accountable to the Statistical Policy and Standards Committee.
Terms of Reference
Section 1: Presentation and dissemination of statistics
To identify and promote best practice and innovation in presentation through:
- the sharing and embedding of good practice
- developing presentation skills and training across the GSS
- engagement with Royal Statistical Society/Statistics Users Forum and assessment
- oversight of the implementation of relevant actions from the GSS strategy – Better Statistics, Better Decisions
- to ensure that the committee keeps on the front foot with new technological developments, including social media and data science
Section 2: Dissemination of official statistics through websites and the gov.uk release calendar
- To forge, develop and maintain stronger links between the GSS and the Government Digital Service (GDS) for the presentation and dissemination of statistics on gov.uk.
- To enable collaboration between statistical producers who publish to a number of different dissemination channels including the ONS website, gov.uk and the websites of the devolved administrations.
- To recommend which dissemination platforms should be exploited further to allow effective dissemination of the wide range of statistical products of interest to users.
- To allow and encourage statisticians to make greater use of social media in disseminating official statistics and engaging with users.
- To work with GDS to provide strategic and operational direction on the development of the release calendar and the dissemination of statistics on gov.uk to improve functionality and ease of use.
- To identify and promote best practice and innovation in dissemination through:
- the sharing and embedding of good practice
- developing core skills and training and improving digital capability across the GSS
- the implementation of relevant actions within the GSS strategy – Better Statistics, Better Decisions
Section 3: Support for open data
Coordinate and progress users’ access to, and use of, official statistics through support for open data across the GSS by:
- identifying and promoting best practice and innovation in open data
- embedding best practice across the GSS
- ensuring user needs are understood and met in the most cost effective, strategic way possible
- To develop and agree its annual work programme with the Statistical Policy and Standards Committee and provide progress reports to meetings of that committee.
- To address any ad-hoc issues remitted to it by the National Statistician.
- To oversee the governance of its own sub-groups and to provide strategic direction to, and hold to account, the activities of such groups.
- To operate the committee using a constituency model.
A constituency representative is defined as either a departmental Head of Profession (HoP) or an agreed representative who has the authority to make decisions at the committee on behalf of their HoP.
In addition, they are able to represent the HoP of other departments in their “constituency”.
PDC members and constituency representatives are expected to:
- understand and represent the individual views of the organisations they represent through regular consultation with colleagues, and, in particular, on receipt of PDC papers or correspondence
- lead or support at least one item on the PDC work programme each year
- liaise with their departmental presentation champions and Head of Profession to establish annual departmental goals in the field of presentation and dissemination of official statistics and report progress against these goals at each PDC meeting
- actively promote the work of PDC within their department and more widely across the GSS by working with presentation champions and HoPs to deliver and contribute to sharing seminars, workshops, blogs etc
Chair: A GSS Deputy Director
- Deputy Director for Digital Publishing in ONS
- Representatives from the ONS Data Visualisation team
- Representatives from the GSS Good Practice Team
13 GSS members each representing a ‘constituency’ or a group of departments, agencies or devolved administrations.
Tenure of membership
The chair will agree with the committee and the National Statistician a scheme for the retirement from the committee of the chair, constituency and representative members to ensure a phased complete turnover within a four year period.
Frequency of meetings
PDC is to meet quarterly with attendance in person preferred. If a member is unable to attend it is expected that they will approach their constituency contact as a temporary replacement.
Communication of minutes
Minutes will be sent to committee members and representatives in each government department and published on the GSS website.
These terms of reference will be reviewed annually by the committee.
2018 and 2019
In 2017, PDC met on 20 March, 27 June, 20 September and 11 December.
Our focus in 2017 was to continue to drive forward a minimum standard for all statistical releases, tables, charts, maps, infographics and open data and we worked closely with the Office for Statistics Regulation and the GSS Good Practice Team and used the presentation champion network across the GSS to achieve this.
- encouraged innovation by offering opportunities to engage with experts from outside the civil service to share their knowledge and expertise
- built capability by scheduling, publicising and overseeing the delivery of a diverse suite of good practice workshops and by building better working relationships between our communications and statistical professionals
- celebrated success and shared good practice by collating and publicising a quarterly What’s New? update from departments across the GSS and by organising a presentation and dissemination symposium on 30 June 2017
In 2016, PDC met on 15 March, 29 June, 19 September and 14 December.
Our focus for 2016 was to continue to increase collaboration with our stakeholders.
- facilitated departmental workshops with Full Fact and media organisations to highlight the key questions asked by the media and public
- reflected on how easy (or not) it is to access the relevant statistics and narratives
- organised workshops involving statisticians live ‘fact checking’ their departments’ statistics to a video of Prime Minister’s Questions
- organised short secondments to the Good Practice Team (GPT). This was successful in facilitating wider knowledge sharing between the GSS and the GPT while providing additional resource to the GPT to continue to monitor statistical releases and work with departments to quickly facilitate improvements
- worked for closer alignment between the UK Statistics Authority, GPT, ONS and the wider GSS to set and promote a minimum standard for all statistical releases, tables, charts, maps, infographics and open data
The PDC has three sub-groups and two champion networks:
The presentation sub-group aims to seek out and share good practice and innovation in the presentation and dissemination of statistics.
The GSS Presentation and Dissemination Committee (PDC) has recognised the need for a presentation sub-group to work across GSS departments to improve and coordinate the presentation of statistical products. The sub-group provides a mechanism to bring skills and expertise from across the ONS and wider GSS together.
The sub-group will also provide both GSS staff and PDC with a central point of contact on issues of statistical presentation and dissemination.
- To identify and promote best practice and innovation in the presentation of official statistics.
- To improve the presentation and dissemination of official statistics.
- To advise PDC and the GSS on ways to improve statistical presentation.
- To help address barriers to improvements.
- To support PDC in raising the capability of the GSS, supporting the development of core skills (as identified in the main PDC work programme).
The sub-group will achieve these objectives by developing and taking forward a work programme of activities which will relate to and feed into the main PDC work programme.
Products within the scope of the sub-group include statistical commentary, charts and tables, datasets, data tables and infographics. The sub-group’s scope includes both regular and ad-hoc products.
The group will be chaired by a member of the GSS Presentation and Dissemination Committee and membership will consist of representatives from the Best Practice and Impact division and all GSS presentation champions.
Frequency of meetings
The group will meet quarterly, approximately 7 to 14 days before the main Presentation and Dissemination Committee meetings.
Presentation sub-group terms of reference (Google doc)
Membership of the presentation sub-group is made up of the sub-group chair, representative(s) from the Best Practice and Impact division and the network of presentation champions.
Presentation sub-group membership list (Google doc)
- Take a look at the “What’s New?” updates which are put together by this sub-group to share the good work happening in presentation and dissemination across the GSS.
- Take a look at the online presentation and dissemination resources.
- Seek out your department’s presentation champion (find these on the membership list for the presentation sub-group) and work together to review a statistical publication or organise an event to share some good practice.
- Contact the Best Practice and Impact division (firstname.lastname@example.org) to find other ways of getting involved.
- Whats new update – December 2018 (doc)
- What’s new update – September 2018 (doc)
- What’s new update – June 2018 (doc)
- What’s new update – March 2018 (doc)
- What’s new update – November 2017 (doc)
- What’s New update – September 2017 (doc)
- What’s New update – June 2017 (doc)
- What’s New update – March 2017 (doc)
For What’s New? updates prior to March 2017, email email@example.com
Web dissemination sub-group
The web dissemination sub-group leads on presentation and dissemination across all GSS web platforms with the aim to produce the best experience for users.
We cover all platforms for disseminating publications, all GSS interactive dissemination platforms and the GSS Data Project.
We aim to encourage and set GSS best practice in this area, and work closely with the Government Digital Service.
This group leads on the development of statistics on all GSS web platforms with the aim to produce the best experience for our users.
In this context, we are concerned with:
- all online platforms for disseminating official statistics publications (often gov.uk)
- all GSS interactive dissemination platforms for official statistics
- the GSS Data Project
The web dissemination sub-group is accountable to the Presentation and Dissemination Committee.
Terms of reference
- Encourage and set GSS best practice in publishing and disseminating statistics.
- Continue to develop our services in line with user requirements.
- Encourage a more consistent user experience across GSS dissemination channels.
- Scan the horizon for new opportunities to innovate in online publishing, and promote these.
- Develop skills and maximise capability to produce good quality outputs that meet user needs.
- Ensure good practice in announcing statistics is maintained.
- Gather user feedback and comment to inform and support new projects.
- Guide and promote the GSS Data Project.
- Share best practice and develop new initiatives in statistical publishing and web dissemination.
- Work with with the Government Digital Service.
- Discuss and solve issues and problems as they arise.
Web dissemination sub-group terms of reference (Google doc).
Web dissemination sub-group membership list (Google doc).
- Contact your organisation’s web dissemination champion if you have any frustrations disseminating statistics on gov.uk or any other platform (if you don’t know who your champion is take a look at the membership list for the web dissemination sub-group).
- If you don’t think user needs being catered for – let your champion know!
- Contact John Wilkins (firstname.lastname@example.org), the sub-group chair if you have any questions about the sub-group’s work.
Open data sub-group
The open data sub-group aims to:
- improve understanding of the open data landscape across government
- gather evidence of user needs for open data
- promote and embed best practice in publishing open data, in the most cost effective and strategic way possible
The open data sub-group recommends the future direction of open data for the GSS and embeds good practice across departments publishing data.
The group will not restrict the advancement of open data within the GSS to just statistical data but to other data types such as non-statistical and management information where appropriate.
One of the more concise definitions of open data is: “Open data and content can be used, changed, and shared by anyone for any purpose.”
For the sub-group this means supporting the approach that openly available data should be:
- accessible to everyone
- in digital formats that satisfy human and machine needs
- available under the Open Government Licence
The open data sub-group is accountable to the Presentation and Dissemination Committee (PDC).
Terms of Reference
The sub-group will work toward developing a blue print that will increase awareness, promote a common understanding around open data and support good practice within government departments.
The sub-group will break this broad ambition into several work packages:
- formats and standards in both metadata and data
- use cases that highlight the challenges and benefits of working with open data
- building partnerships with the open data community to understand user needs
- develop a high-level strategy including risks, challenges, benefits, capability and skills
- To develop and agree its annual work programme with PDC and provide progress reports to meetings of that committee.
- To address any ad-hoc issues remitted to it by the PDC.
- To support each other and share learning.
- Members who nominate themselves to develop the work packages will self-organise and report back to the group.
Frequency of meetings
- Main sub-group meetings are to be held every six months
- Regular show and tells to showcase new innovations aim to be on a monthly basis
- Work package meetings will be self-organising
Open data sub-group terms of reference (Google doc).
Make data discoverable
Discovery doesn’t just happen on the ONS website, it will also happen via search, portals and data aggregators. Good quality descriptive metadata will allow third parties to index the data.
Make sure reuse rights are always clear
Users should always be clear on their rights and obligations for reusing data. Licence, attribution and copyright statements should always be clear at the point of use.
Help users cite their sources
Stable links to the data and supporting metadata will aid re-users in citing their sources. This creates more ways to discover data and measure its reach and impact.
Always present data in context
Users should be able to find and access the contextual documentation about a dataset. This helps them decide if the data is fit for purpose prior to using it.
Be clear on what is in the datasets
The definitions of the attributes, measures, dimensions and codes used in a dataset should all be available and accessible. Where possible, harmonised names for measures and dimensions should be used across datasets, in order to increase the interoperability of datasets.
Data should be useful for everyone
Data should be easy to find. There is no single standard approach to consuming and reusing data. Different re-users will have different needs, requiring a choice of formats and data access options.
Make data part of the web
Regardless of the technology used to manage and publish data, everything that a user needs to refer to or share should have a place on the web.
Comparable and interoperable
Data has a multiplier effect. The more quality datasets you have access to, and the easier it is for them to talk to each other, the more potential value you can get from them. Commonly-agreed data standards play a crucial role in making this happen.
Data should be made available at a stable Internet location indefinitely and in a stable data format for as long as possible.
Keep data up to date
Open data should be well maintained and updated periodically to reflect the most up to date available data.
Keep access to the data open and free from registration.
Open data principles (Google doc).