The fifth and final Round Table in the Power from Statistics project dealt with modern statistics rooted in a scientific tradition to serve society. It took place on 24 April 2017 in Frankfurt (Germany). Experts from Europe and the United States, together with colleagues of Eurostat and the European Political Strategy Centre, discussed major trends and new information needs in modern statistics.
The experts stressed the need not to leave the society behind, fostering statistical literacy and communication, working with media. This will reduce the gap between evidence and end users - the general public as well as policymakers.
The experts also discussed the role of qualitative descriptions, storytelling and data visualisation, as well as the challenge of communicating uncertainty.
They also highlighted the need of redefining the role of official statistics in a changing world, by covering emerging topics and being able to innovate, also taking advantage of new technologies and big data to increase the accuracy of statistics and reduce their costs.
The major fields for innovation analysed during the round table include the collaboration with the private sector, the use of remote sensing data and the overcoming of the national perspective, moving towards a post-national horizon.
Among the emerging topics, the need to strengthen the relationships and the collaboration with other scientific disciplines was considered particularly relevant.
The experts also discussed issues such as timeliness, accuracy and international comparability of statistics, trust and independence, focusing on the trade-off between independence and relevance in an interdependent relationship with the priorities of policymakers, in an environment of budget constraints.
The experts will write articles on the most promising of the topics discussed at the Round Table in an Outlook Report. This report will be discussed at the high-level conference "Power from Statistics; Data, Information and knowledge" on the future of official statistics, which will take place in Brussels on 18 and 19 October 2017.
Walter J. Radermacher
Lúcio Vinhas De Souza
Sibylle von Oppeln-Bronikowski