This paper identifies some of the main, and long term, pressures and drivers impacting on official statistics and the statistical service in the UK. We consider the growing demand for both statistical data and statistical analysis; the shift in the sourcing of official statistics from sample surveys to administrative databases; the fading of the demarcation between topic areas such as health, education and the labour market; the growing trend to release large volumes of raw data; and the rise of internet-based unofficial sources. The paper then considers the implications of these and other aspects of the “changing environment” for producers of official statistics and the products for which they are responsible, both in terms of the skills and knowledge required by official statisticians over the next 20 years and the changing nature of the service delivered to users of statistics.
Keywords: Changing environment; Skills and knowledge; Changing service
Biography: Richard Laux is the UK Statistics Authority's Director of Monitoring and Assessment.
Richard has worked in official statistics for over 25 years - including on local authority statistics and labour market statistics, and in the last ten years being actively involved in statistical policy and governance, and in European statistics. He joined the Monitoring and Assessment Team in July 2008. Since then he has drafted the Code of Practice for Official Statistics, helped shape the development of the assessment function, and led the preparation and quality assurance of Assessment reports and Monitoring reports.