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Do you have any questions?

Blog | GSS Blog

Have you ever thought about what makes statistics good? Is it taking account of user needs? Publishing accurate figures? Avoiding a letter from OSR? To be of value we think statistics must address questions people want answers to – this includes government, charities, businesses or individuals – and they need to do this in an […]

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How we listened to our users to improve our education statistics

Blog | GSS Blog

The Department for Education (DfE) is one of the largest producers of official statistics in government, covering a wide breadth of policy areas. These statistics are valuable to the public and allow us to deliver evidence-based policy, inform public debate and provide transparency around the education system. Our current model for making these statistics available […]

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Can a UK definition of homelessness be achieved?

Blog | GSS Blog

What exactly is harmonisation? Does it have anything to do with music? Who are the Harmonisation team and what work have they been undertaking to support cross-GSS work on homelessness? Internal Communications at Office for National Statistics recently spoke to Daisie Hutchinson, a social researcher within the Harmonisation Team in the Best Practice and Impact […]

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Quality Street

Blog | GSS Blog

Does anyone like coffee creams? I for one didn’t shed a tear when they were banished from the selection a few years ago, but the existence of a ‘bring back the coffee cream’ Facebook group suggests that they did have a small but loyal fan base. Could it just be that it’s a matter of […]

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Modernising a survey which has been running for over 50 years

Blog | GSS Blog

The National Travel Survey (NTS) is considered a world-leading and gold-standard travel survey, with governments from many other countries using the NTS as a template for their own travel surveys. It has been running for over 50 years which is great as it captures long term trends, but modern travel trends are evolving fast (Uber […]

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Strengthening our housing and planning statistics

Blog | GSS Blog

Housing and planning statistics play a vital role in helping to inform decision-making of all kinds across the UK. In January I blogged about the progress made in joining up statisticians across departments and the devolved administrations – both at an operational and strategic level. I reflected on the balance between driving forward improvements whilst […]

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Harmonisation: The Beach Boys were onto something

Blog | GSS Blog

If anyone knew the power of harmonisation, they did. Harmonisation is an often misunderstood and sometimes underappreciated idea. People often think it is just about getting everyone to use exactly the same definitions and concepts in their statistics. Some think it’s just about adding emotional impact to a melody. But these are just two aspects […]

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Synthetic data: innovation for public good

Blog | Data science

What is synthetic data, and how can it be used for public good? This was the question asked at a recent event at the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Synthetic data are artificially generated data that have the look and structure of real data, but do not contain any information on individuals. They also contain […]

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A free consultancy service for the Government Statistical Service

The Best Practice and Impact (BPI) division based at the Office for National Statistics (ONS), provides a range of services for the whole Government Statistical Service (GSS) to help improve official statistics. One service we offer is free consultancy. This can be tailored to any challenges or obstacles your department faces. Recently, the Quality Centre in […]

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