V4: Innovation and improvement

Statistics producers should be creative and motivated to improve statistics and data, recognising the potential to harness technological advances for the development of all parts of the production and dissemination process.

What you should commit to

V4.1 Statistics producers should keep up to date with developments that can improve statistics and data. They should be transparent in conducting their development activities, and be open about the outcomes and longer-term development plans.

V4.2 Statistics producers should consider testing and releasing new official statistics initially as experimental statistics, under the guidance of the Chief Statistician/Head of Profession for Statistics.

V4.3 Users should be involved in the ongoing development of statistics and data, exploring and testing statistical innovations, so that the statistics remain relevant and useful.

V4.4 Statistics producers should seek to collaborate with other producers, including within the UK and internationally, when developing their statistics, overcoming practical obstacles, and sharing best practice.

V4.5 Statistics producers should keep up to date with developments that might improve methods and quality. They should assess the added value of potential improvements and consider the likely impact on the statistics, including in relation to comparability and coherence.

V4.6 Producers should commit to improve data presentation, enhance insight, and better meet the needs of different types of users and potential users in the dissemination of their statistics and data.

V4.7 New and innovative ways to engage users, potential users and other stakeholders should be considered and adopted as appropriate.

Guidance and resources

Description Link Source
This guide sets out the Office for Statistics Regulation’s (OSR) expectations regarding the production and handling of experimental statistics, a subset of official statistics going through development and evaluation, in line with the Code. Experimental statistics – official statistics in development OSR
This Government Statistical Service (GSS) guidance sets out when to use the experimental statistics label, when to introduce experimental statistics, and removal of the experimental statistics label. Guidance on Experimental Statistics GSS
An OSR article on how collaboration can lead to trusted, high quality statistics that provide public value, when it supports producers to improve and innovate in different ways. It draws on examples from producers working in Children, Education and Skills statistics and how they have collaborated to drive improvements. Collaboration is key OSR
An OSR article on innovation in the dissemination of statistics, focusing on positive features of the development process. It draws on examples from producers working in Children, Education and Skills statistics and how they have developed alternative outputs to supplement their main statistical publications. Engaging the audience – exploring statistics beyond the pdf OSR
A blog by Louisa McCutcheon (OSR) on some of the challenges faced by producers when innovating in the development and presentation of statistics. Overcoming barriers to change OSR
A resource for official statistics producers to develop their knowledge and understanding of the broad range of methodological approaches used across the Government Statistical Service (GSS). GSS methodology webpage 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
Government Digital Service (GDS) guidance on using social media in the public sector. It aims to share GDS best practice. GDS Social Media Playbook GDS
Guidance on the UK Government's design principles and examples of how they've been used, from starting with user needs to designing with data. Government design principles UK Government