Emerging Trends in Data Dissemination Alan Smith OBE @theboysmithy

Emerging Trends in Data Dissemination
Alan Smith OBE
ONS Data Visualisation Centre, United Kingdom
Hal Varian, Google
• “The ability to take data - to be able
to understand it, to process it, to
extract value from it, to visualize it,
to communicate it's going to be a
hugely important skill in the next
sexy job in the next 10 years
will be statisticians”
• Because now we really do have
essentially free and ubiquitous data.
So the complimentary scarce factor
is the ability to understand that data
and extract value from it.”
Emerging trends in web content
More visual, more personal, more social
“Open and
traffic to media websites from tablet/mobile device
The rise and rise of mobile devices
• Apple has sold over 500
million iOS devices (2013)
• In the UK, 71% of 16-24
year olds online via mobile
devices (2011)
• 45% of all UK internet users
went online via mobile
devices (2011)
Producing mobile-friendly content
• There are two principal content routes:
1.Mobile apps - proprietary applications, authored for
each type of device:
• Apple AppStore, Google Play, Amazon apps etc
2.Web apps - applications for any web browser, based
on the HTML5 digital toolkit
The Digital Toolkit
• jQuery/jQueryUI
• d3js
• Modernizr
• Let’s look at some
Emerging trends in the role of the statistics
Dissemination driven by an API - the U.S.A.
• “The [Census] Bureau
wants to be a source
for mobile data, not an
app builder”
• Steven Buckner, director Center
for New Media & Promotion, US
Census Bureau
A case for ‘just producing the numbers’?
The value of statistical commentary - UK
“Among the Code of Practice requirements are that producers of official statistics
should prepare full and frank commentary and analysis that aid interpretation
• information on the quality and reliability of statistics in relation to the range of
potential uses
• information on methods, procedures and classifications
• factual information about the policy or operational context
• formats for the presentation of statistics in graphs, tables and maps that enhance
clarity, interpretability and consistency…
• In the view of the Statistics Authority, the public has a right to know the
statisticians’ understanding of the messages from the statistics, just as they
have a right to the data itself. It is common, and proper, for statisticians in
government departments to brief policy colleagues on the substance of the
statistics. That knowledge should, as a matter of principle, be shared more widely.”
• It is not the world’s sexiest URL...
...so, how can we keep statistics.gov relevant ?
1.by providing mechanisms for dynamic access to the
underlying data (data warehouse and API) to allow
others to build apps using our data
2.for the content we do make, syndicate it to increase
outreach and impact
Content syndication - UK Census example
increase in page views compared to traffic via statistics.gov.uk
“Visual, personal, social...”
Thank you/Gracias/Obrigado
Alan Smith OBE
ONS Data Visualisation Centre, United Kingdom