RSS announces Official Statistics Award Winners for 2013


  • Author: Statistics Views
  • Date: 08 August 2013
  • Copyright: Image appears courtesy of iStockPhoto

The Royal Statistical Society have announced the winners of this year’s Official Statistics Award with the new website of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for overseas trade statistics being declared as the overall winner. The Awards are now in their fourth year running and were created to award excellent work by statisticians in various fields, who work to produce official statistics.

thumbnail image: RSS announces Official Statistics Award Winners for 2013

The Welsh government’s ‘My Local School’ website and the census data visualisation, provided by the Office for National Statistics were runners-up.

According to RSS News (23rd July 2013), the HMRC website was ‘described by judges as “excellent and innovative” and “a wonderful example for other statisticians” and its design was based on extensive consultation with users. It not only offers increased data availability but simplified data access, improved data visualisation with time series, tabulation, charting and mapping within an interactive multi-dimensional data cube, and enhanced table storing and sharing capability for social media users. All of this was achieved with a 20 per cent cost saving. Judges particularly liked the facility for users to build their own tables and charts from the extensive overseas trade database and to share these via email and social media.

The Welsh Government’s ‘My Local School’ website is a bilingual website that contains information about the characteristics and performance of all Welsh schools, benchmarking performance against other comparable schools. Deemed exceptionally easy and attractive to use, the judges felt that it met a real need for school information for parents, schools, governors, local authorities and media, commenting that it was ‘interesting, informative, easy to use and bringing statistics to a wider audience’. It has also won an exceptionally high level of praise from users.’

The Office for National Statistics has taken considerable steps to improve their website in recent months and make their data visualisations interactive and have been created to attract a wide range of users, from students, to teachers and journalists and as evidence, their graphics have been widely used by the BBC, Channel 4 and The Guardian, amongst others.

There were 19 entries in total. Five other entries made it through to the final round and were also commended:

• Department for Communities and Local Government – Fire Response Times publication
• Department for Education – ‘Level 3′ Value Added
• Department for Education – Attainment at Key Stage 4 by pupils in Academies 2011
• House of Commons Library – Olympic Britain
• Office for National Statistics – Annual Business Survey User Engagement including the Business Statistics Interactive User Guide.

The winners will receive their awards on 3rd September at the RSS Conference in Newcastle.

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