Transformational Innovations for Creating Official Statistics
Category: International Statistical Institute
Innovations in official statistics are occurring around the world. The use of administrative, third-party, and opportunity data are rapidly being expanded, making surveys just one among several sources of data in the toolbox for creating data products for the public. We now have the opportunity to address long-standing measurement issues with the goal to accurately measure changes in society, solve the challenge of historically undercounted populations, and make official statistics more inclusive and timelier.
One proposed paradigm shift in the United States is to create data products focused on purpose and use, such as understanding changing employment patterns during the pandemic, or changing migration patterns due to climate events. The scaffold for this shift is currently being developed at the U.S. Census Bureau, in the form of a unified statistical frame that integrates the individual frames into a collective whole. Similarly, the pillars of the Canadian paradigm focus on user-centric service delivery, leading-edge methods and data integration, statistical capacity building, and sharing and collaboration with a variety of partners. Finally, an exciting new area that addresses societal goals is using statistics to measure progress towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals. The roadmap developed by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) on statistics for SDGs is instructive about how locally relevant statistics can be developed – worldwide – going forward. Incorporation of these transformational approaches can serve to improve the representation of all groups and advance equity. The discussants are well-poised to comment on how this can be achieved, providing a path to better inform societal goals.