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GSS sharing webinar: Communicating uncertainty in statistics and analysis

24th June 2020 10:00am to 12:00pm

On Wednesday 24 June, the Best Practice and Impact (BPI) division will be hosting a webinar on communicating uncertainty in statistics and analysis. There will be presentations from colleagues from the Department for Education (DfE), Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (Nisra), Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication and from BPI themselves.

Please register your interest for the event on eventbrite. 

Join the webinar via Google Hangouts on Wednesday 24 June at 10.00am. 


DfE: The UK Government’s Assessing and Communicating Uncertainty Toolkit

Have you ever been given an analytical problem to solve and wondered “How do I handle all of this uncertainty?” Do you want to improve the way you analyse uncertainty in your analysis? Have you ever completed a report that contains detailed analysis of the uncertainty underlying the final results, only to have the decision maker take away nothing but the headline numbers?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then the Assessing and Communicating Uncertainty Toolkit is for you! This toolkit has been developed by a cross-departmental team and the intention is for it to be an evolving document reflecting best practice across the analytical community. Jon Tecwyn from DfE has contributed to the toolkit and will present the content.

Nisra: Communicating uncertainty in labour market statistics

Cathryn Blair, head of labour market statistics in Nisra will discuss the challenges in communicating uncertainty in regional labour market statistics and how Nisra have tried to address these.

Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication: Communicating uncertainty around trends over time

Uncertainty is ingrained in the generation of all kinds of data, past, present and future. A frequently voiced concern about communicating this uncertainty is that it might undermine audience understanding and trust in data and in their communicators.

Using national unemployment and migration statistics, election poll data and coronavirus (COVID-19) death rate data, this presentation will discuss recent empirical research on the effects of communicating uncertainty around statistics on audience comprehension and trust. It will also provide recommendations for future research and practice.

It will be presented by Dr Sarah Dryhurst.

Office for National Statistics: GSS guidance on communicating quality, uncertainty and change

Charles Lound from Best Practice and Impact division will provide a presentation on the Communicating quality, uncertainty and change guidance and talk about examples of good practice from across GSS.

Accessing the webinar

This webinar will be presented online via Google Hangouts. It will be available to anyone from any location across the Civil Service.

We will be live from 10:00 to 12:00 on Wednesday 24 June and will be taking questions via Following the webinar, a recording will be shared on BPI’s YouTube channel.

Want more sharing webinars?

This event is part of a series of sharing webinars organised by BPI. For information on the next sharing seminar, please sign up to the GSS newsletter or keep an eye on the events page or the sharing webinars page on the GSS website.