64th ISI World Statistics Congress - Ottawa, Canada

64th ISI World Statistics Congress - Ottawa, Canada

Statistics and data in the decision-making process – how can statistical offices promote the usage and application of data?


Ms Reija Helenius


  • MS
    Dr Markus Sovala

  • VV
    Ville Vertanen
  • Real time data – the Finnish situation room pilot

  • SM
    Dr Stephen MacFeely
  • How modelled estimates can be used to support decisions by filling critical gaps in available statistics

  • OA
    DRS Ola Awad-Shakhshir
  • A Cluster Based Atlas to Support Governments in Decision Making

  • DS
    Dr David Stern
  • Who's data is it anyway? How the right data can transform individual decision making

  • GU
    Gaby Umbach

  • Category: International Association for Statistical Education (IASE)


    Statistics and data in the decision-making process – how can statistical offices promote the usage and application of data?

    Knowledge-based decision-making requires constructing a bigger picture combining different sources of information. The decision-maker needs statistics to maintain a situational picture and to evaluate the consequences of decisions. An understanding of societal structures, nowcasting and predicting is necessary. On the other hand, statistics make it possible to map out and compare different options, anticipate effects and evaluate and monitor the effectiveness of different measures.

    The first task of an information provider is to bring statistics to use and offer enough of them in a comprehensive and understandable format. The society – all the way from citizens to the decision-makers – needs reliable statistical information about different phenomena. On one hand, there is a need for finalized and thoroughly checked statistical information and time series, but on the other hand, there is equally large need for rapid release and experimental statistics. Many advanced users only need a proper interface and as much data as possible. Whereas further analyses data becomes one of the central questions. Who produces the analysing services? Is it a task for the national statistical offices, research institution or collaborative effort between the aforementioned actors? What are the roles of different operators in accelerated information production? What real time data services should information providers and national statistical offices offer to the decision-makers?

    Ultimately, the decision-maker also needs some understanding of how statistics and data can be used, what are their limitations and possibilities. What other data can be used to complement statistical data to create a bigger picture? Statistical literacy is a key social and working life skill and its promotion is one of the key strategic tasks of statistical offices. How do we advance this mission? It is also important to know the users' real information needs. In what context and for what purpose is the data used? The topic is also considered from the viewpoint of low resources environments.

    This session sheds light on the new challenges and opportunities of information production and, using case examples, brings out the services and ways in which statistical data can be used to support decision making. The need for accelerated but still reliable information is increasing all the time. Decision-makers need information in an understandable and analyzed form to different channels, one example being GIS (Spatial data) technology, which supports the analysis of statistics based on the spatial dimension.

    This challenges information providers and statistical authorities to develop their services, taking into account the needs of the society and, finally, the end users of statistics.

    The session is suggested as a joint session of IASE and IAOS. Its organizer is ISLP (International Statistical Literacy Project).