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High quality statistics, analysis and advice to help Britain make better decisions.

Writing about statistics

Statistics graph slideshow

Communicating statistics is something we have to do well.

Poor communication impacts on our users. To be helpful, our statistics need to be well communicated so they can be clearly understood by all of society.

Good communicating isn’t just about getting the words right…important as that is.

When you tell your statistical story you need to consider the structure. Adopt a journalist approach, starting with the most interesting information. A good statistical story doesn’t just recite data in words. A story tells the reader what you found and why it is important. When writing the story ask yourself a series of questions:

  • What are the key messages?
  • What do the figures mean?
  • Why are they important?
  • What is the context?
  • What can the figures be used for?
  • What are their limitations?

Remember – good communication is central to improving accessibility and impact.

supportTraining & Support

The Statistical Foundations Course includes an introductory session on Statistical Commentary. This is a compulsory course for GSG staff that are approximately 6-12 months into their career. The Good Practice Team can provide advice on writing about statistics.

guidelinesOnline resources

The Communicating Statistics page brings together resources about the communication and dissemination of official statistics including guidance documents, case studies from GSS departments and links to useful external content.