Data Visualisation and Official Statistics: Providing New Evidence and Enhancing Understanding
Sharleen D. Forbes
Statistics New Zealand, Wellington, New Zealand

Recent data visualisations provide new tools for dispalying official statistics. A range of these will be displayed, from multi-dimensional static graphs to dynamic and interactive graphs, including geo-visualisations. These tools not only enhance the range of outputs of national statistics offices but also can be used for motivational and educational purposes. The use of a price-kaleidoscope to help interpret the consumer price index and of dynamic population pyramids to demonstrate the momentum effect in demography is given. A number of both actual and potential policy uses in New Zealand using geo-visualisation tools with official statistics are also discussed.

Keywords: Official statistics; Data visualisation; Geovisualisation; Policy uses of official statistics

Biography: Sharleen Forbes works half-time as Adjunct Professor of Official Statistics in the School of Government at Victoria University and half-time as General Manager, Statistics Education at Statistics New Zealand. She has previously held a variety of research, policy, education and management positions in New Zealand government agencies including the Ministries of Agriculture, Maori Affairs and Maori Development. She has a long-standing interest in statistics education with a PhD in the measurement of gender and ethnic differences in school mathematics. Her recent research has focused on ways of increaing statistical literacy, particularly conceptual understanding in statistics. Her research in official statistics includes the use of data visualisation and the history of, influences on and ethics underlying official statistics. She is currently a vice-Director of the International Statistical Literacy Project and a memeber of the ISI's Committee on Women in Statistics.