2014 RSS Statistical Excellence Awards Announced

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  • Author: Statistics Views
  • Date: 10 July 2014
  • Copyright: Image appears courtesy of iStock Photo

The Royal Statistical Society (RSS) has announced the winners of their 2014 Statistical Excellence Awards, which celebrate statistical excellence in journalism and official statistics.

thumbnail image: 2014 RSS Statistical Excellence Awards Announced

2014 RSS Award for Statistical Excellence in Journalism

Broadcast category

The unanimous winner in this category was Adam Blenford’s BBC News report ‘100 women: what chance does a young girl have?’, which used animation to explore the lives of women today and communicate the issue of gender inequality across the globe.

Two further BBC Radio 4 programmes were commended for improving the accessibility of statistical concepts to a wider audience: The More or Less broadcast ‘An army of drunken children’ and The Infinite Monkey Cage programme on risk, which explored how attitude to risk are influenced by one’s own perceptions and prejudice.

Print category

This category had two joint winners, Guardian journalist James Ball’s article ‘The Thatcher effect: what changed and what stayed the same’ for its fair, unbiased and accessible manner, and the Economist’s Jan Piotrowski’s article examining why the findings of much scientific research is likely to be wrong, and its consequences. The judges commended Jan’s use of graphics to aid explanation and the definition of key statistical concepts in easy-to-understand terms.

Online category

This award went to Chris Cook, Martin Stabe and Cleve Jones from the Financial Times, for their work on ‘The problem with education statistics', an examination of the flaws in the current system of evaluating and comparing schools.

2014 RSS Award for Statistical Excellence in Official Statistics

The Ministry and Justice Data Lab and the Department of Energy and Climate Change National Energy Efficiency Database were the joint winners of the Award for Statistical Excellence in Official Statistics.

The Ministry of Justice Data Lab was created to help organisations working with ex-offenders to measure the impact of the work they did. The judges were impressed with the use of statistical techniques, and the way their statisticians had worked with their (mainly non-statistician) users.

The National Energy Efficiency Database, is a data linking project that utilises private and public sector administrative data to provide insight into how energy is used in different households. The judges were impressed with one of the major outputs from the project, www.comparemyenergy.org.uk.

Furthermore, this year, a prize for the Most Improved Statistical Release was also awarded, to the Children’s Social Work Statistics for Scotland. The new release was judged as being “very clear with an excellent use of context, positive feedback and high impact”.

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