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Call for Evidence

Transforming the UK’s Evidence Base

More data are available than ever before. Every time we log our morning work-out, turn on our sat-nav, or tap our loyalty card as we pay for the weekly grocery shop, we are generating a mass of data.    

But to what extent are civil servants making the most of new, innovative data sources to inform decisions and improve the lives of citizens?  As new sources of data emerge, how confident can we be that the privacy of data subjects is being protected, and that sources of data are being used ethically?  And finally, as sources multiply, how can official statisticians and analysts help us draw meaning from this deluge of data?  

The Committee welcomes submissions addressing any or all the following themes:

Data and analysis in government 

  • How are official statistics and analysis currently produced? 
  • How successfully do Government Departments share data? 
  • How do other nations collect and produce statistics? 

The changing data landscape 

  • Is the age of the survey, and the decennial Census, over?  
  • What new sources of data are available to government statisticians and analysts? 
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of new sources of data? 

Protecting privacy and acting ethically 

  • Who seeks to protect the privacy of UK citizens in the production of statistics and analysis? How? 
  • What does it mean to use data ethically, in the context of statistics and analysis? 
  • Are current processes and protections sufficient? 

Understanding and responding to evolving user needs 

  • Who should official data and analyses serve? 
  • How are demands for data changing?   
  • How do users of official statistics and analysis wish to access data? 
  • How can we ensure that official data and analyses have impact? 
  • How do we ensure that users, in the Civil Service, Parliament and beyond, have the skills they need to make effective use of data? 

The Committee welcomes submissions by 5pm on Thursday 31 August

This call for written evidence has now closed.

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