data

Understanding the impact of crime on society through data

Podcast logo

Just as the nature of crime evolves, so must the data sources we rely on to capture its true nature and extent. If you’ve listened to the media you may have got the impression that overall crime in England and Wales is at record levels, but do the statistics back that up, or has crime actually been falling? Or is it the case that the nature of crime has simply changed over the last few decades, meaning we’re now more likely to be targeted online than in the streets? 

Read more on Understanding the impact of crime on society through data

The importance of ethics and privacy in producing statistics for the public good

Podcast logo

At a time of exponential growth in data of all kinds, the potential for data science to improve public services and achieve better health outcomes has never been greater. But we also have a responsibility to ensure that those data are used ethically and protect individual privacy. Starting with the UK parliament’s objective for the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to produce and publish statistics for the public good, the latest episode of ‘Statistically Speaking’ explores how this is being delivered in practice, while looking at the safeguards in place to protect personal data, and the public’s changing perception of acceptable data use.

Read more on The importance of ethics and privacy in producing statistics for the public good

Shopping Around for Retail Data? How ONS keeps tabs on a fast-changing sector

Evolving shopping habits are keeping UK retailers on their toes, forcing many to adapt to survive.  The rise of online sales and the disappearance of some big names from UK high streets have also challenged ONS to maintain the accuracy and relevance of the Retail Sales Index.  As Rhian Murphy explains,  the breadth of its coverage means the RSI remains a leading indicator – not just of retailing but of the economy as a whole.

Read more on Shopping Around for Retail Data? How ONS keeps tabs on a fast-changing sector

Can social media data improve official statistics? Not yet, suggests new work on tourism

While ONS strategy is focused on making more use of government-held data to improve official statistics , researchers in the Data Science Campus are also exploring the value of social media data. There’s plenty of it and its potential seems obvious. But who is “citizen of the world” and where is “Black Pudding land”? As well as privacy concerns some big limitations in the data need addressing too, conclude Lanthao Benedikt and Emily Tew.  

Read more on Can social media data improve official statistics? Not yet, suggests new work on tourism