data

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.

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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.  

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Looking after and using data for public benefit

Improved access to datasets including those held by other government bodies will allow ONS to advance its mission of providing the UK with better statistics for better decisions.  But with new data sharing powers comes a heightened responsibility to protect personal information.  As revised policies on the use, management and security of data are published Heather Savory explains how ONS is putting the public interest first.

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