This is a case study for V4: Innovation and improvement

The Welsh Government publishes a large number of statistical releases relating to the economy and labour market in Wales. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Welsh Government published Regional Economic and Labour Market Profiles for Wales, that brought together data on Welsh economic regions in one bulletin to enable comparisons to be made more easily.

The publication of the regional profiles was paused in 2020 due to resource and priority implications arising from Covid-19. The data were still made available elsewhere through existing dissemination tools including StatsWales and the Welsh Economy in Numbers dashboard, which presents key economy and labour market indicators for Wales with comparisons against the other UK countries and regions.

As part of its post-pandemic reprioritisation, the statistics team decided to review the future of the regional profiles. The team chose to engage with users to inform its prioritisation and to consider where best to allocate its resource to add most value. These development plans were transparently set out in a blog by the Chief Statistician in November 2021.

One option proposed by the statistics team was the possibility of stopping the regional profiles in favour of making incremental improvements to the dashboard. Making greater use of the existing dashboard is a positive example of how an innovative approach to dissemination can better meet users’ changing appetite for accessing and engaging with statistics, and reduce the resource spent producing long bulletins in pdf format.

In order to strengthen its relationship with users and to guide future developments of its economic statistics releases, the Welsh Government has recently established a Welsh Economic Statistics User Group, with the first meeting held in September 2022.

This example shows the value in producers continuing to review their existing statistical releases, to determine whether to continue or pause them based on balancing user needs with resource. It also shows how WG was transparent about these development activities, involving users to ensure the developments would meet their needs.