Measuring and communicating the quality of government statistics is crucial if they are to be trusted by the public.
What support is available?
If a department needs help with anything related to measuring or reporting the quality of their statistics, the Quality Centre (based in the Office for National Statistics but here to help the whole Government Statistical Service) are happy to collaborate closely. Email email@example.com to find out more.
The National Statistician’s Quality Reviews (NSQRs) cover thematic topics of national importance. These reviews ensure that methods used by the Government Statistical Service (GSS) are keeping pace with changing data sources and technologies.
NSQRs complement existing quality assurance practices, providing an additional tool to make sure methods are, and remain to be, fit for purpose.
They provide an opportunity for experts outside the GSS to contribute to the continued improvement of methods. They also help the GSS to identify good practice and opportunities for further development and investment.
The Quality Reporting Team at Office for National Statistics (ONS) are developing approaches to communicating information on quality and methods.
These build on the traditional Quality and Methodology Information (QMI) corporate template. They will provide additional quality reporting products to widen the accessibility of information on quality and methods. The approaches are based on an inverted triangle of communication where the most newsworthy information is at the top, followed by the important details and then other general information.
One approach that has been considered is publishing quality summaries like this one for Gross Domestic Product. These aim to reduce the risk of less experienced users misusing data.
Another is publishing quality information within statistical bulletins as outlined in this ONS guidance.
The Quality Centre based within the Office for National Statistics (but here to help the whole GSS) aims to measure, report and minimise respondent burden.
Part of this work involves collating and publishing a list of government statistical surveys run in England and Wales. The aim of this list is to reduce duplication.
The latest list is for surveys run between April 2016 and March 2017.
Information that Survey Control Liaison Officers might find useful:
- Role of the SCLO (pdf, 37KB)
- Definition of a statistical survey (pdf, 24KB)
- Guidance for approving new surveys (including templates) (pdf, 93KB)
- Guidance on calculating compliance costs (pdf, 170KB)
- Guidance on calculating hourly rates
Quality champions aim to raise the quality of official statistics produced by government departments.
For general questions about measuring and reporting the quality of statistics, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want to find out more about measuring and reporting quality in your department speak to your quality champion (Google doc).