V3: Clarity and insight

Statistics and data should be presented clearly, explained meaningfully and provide authoritative insights that serve the public good.

What you should commit to

V3.1 Statistics, data and explanatory material should be relevant and presented in a clear, unambiguous way that supports and promotes use by all types of users.

V3.2 Statistics should be accompanied by a clear description of the main statistical messages that explains the relevance and meaning of the statistics in a way that is not materially misleading. They should be illustrated by suitable data visualisations, including charts, maps and tables, where this helps aid appropriate interpretation of the statistics.

V3.3 Comparisons that support the appropriate interpretation of the statistics, including within the UK and internationally, should be provided where useful. Users should be signposted to other related statistics and data sources and the extent of consistency and comparability with these sources should be explained to users.

V3.4 Advice should be given about the appropriate use of the statistics and data. The lead statistician or analyst should be visible and approachable to users, be encouraged to explain the statistics publicly and support their use.

V3.5 Statistics producers should collaborate with experts and producers of related statistics and data to provide a comprehensive and coherent narrative for the statistical topic.

Guidance and resources

Description Link Source
Answers to questions OSR has received about publishing official statistics in line with the Code. Topics covered include: pre-announcing the release of statistics, labeling the status of the statistics and publishing ad-hoc statistics releases. Publishing official statistics and National Statistics OSR
Guidance that aims to help producers of statistics improve their statistical commentary. Writing about statistics GSS
A webpage that brings together guidance and resources on communicating statistics. Communicating statistics webpage GSS
The e-learning provides an overview of best practice approaches for creating and publishing basic data visualisations, and making them more accessible to all. Data visualisation e-learning Analysis Function
The guidance sets out a common approach, based on recognised good practice, for releasing statistics in spreadsheets. Releasing statistics in spreadsheets GSS
A webpage with links to a series of guidance documents on harmonisation, including what harmonisation is and its aims, the Harmonisation Handbook and the GSS Harmonised Principles. Harmonisation within the GSS webpage GSS
The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe’s (UNECE) guide on Making Data Meaningful is intended as a practical tool to help managers, statisticians and media relations officers use text, and visualisations to bring statistics to life for non-statisticians. It contains suggestions, guidelines and examples. A UNECE guide to Making Data Meaningful UNECE
A beginner’s guide to geography: a simple tour of the UK geographical areas used in National Statistics work. For basic facts on each type of area as well as more specialist information. A Beginners Guide to UK Geography (ONS) ONS