Telling a Story: Turning Numbers Into Information and Knowledge

# Telling a Story: Turning Numbers Into Information and Knowledge

## Telling a Story: Turning Numbers Into Information and Knowledge

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##### Presentation Transcript

1. Telling a Story: Turning Numbers Into Information and Knowledge Jon Hall, PARIS21

2. NSOs: Data Disseminators or Knowledge Builders?

3. People’s Knowledge of Official Measures of Economic Performance What U.S. Consumers Know About Economic ConditionRichard Curtin Research Professor and Director Survey of Consumers - University of Michigan

4. Statistics are worthless unless they are used!

5. Statistics are often perceived as Boring Not relevant to people’s lives

6. The last 2 cm is the most important

7. PUBLIC DATA DISSEMINATION SCENARIO AUDIENCE Public, Policymakers, Students MEDIA Internet, CD, Books, TV, Newspapers, Presentations INTERPRETERS Journalists, Activists, Researchers, Teachers DATA National Statistical System Source: Gapminder

8. BUT THIS IS NOT THE CASE...BECAUSE... AUDIENCE BORING MEDIA DIFFICULT INTERPRETERS EXPENSIVE DATA National Statistical System Source: Gapminder

9. 57445 79 1127687 8 23477 779 6,3 8 562006=10135,4 9 45 + 7 12% 57445 79 1128 347 779 6,3 8 562006=10135,4 9 45 + 7 12% Tabulation Statistics Methods/calculations Data entry & editing Data Data collection/surveys/adm. registers (Master plan/strategy/MDGs/PRSPs, etc.) NSOs = Numerical Volcanoes?

10. User-friendly presentation      Tabulation Methods/calculations Data entry & editing Data collection/surveys/adm. registers (Master plan/strategy/MDGs/PRSPs/etc.)

11. Find the story • Tell the story • Spread the story

12. Find the interesting stories • Don’t be afraid to make statistics interesting – they are! • But how to find the interesting story?

13. Requires analysis… • In a complex society, readers need to be guided through the numerical jungle: “What do the numbers really mean”? • Informed users and the general public need explanations, interpretation and comment

14. Analysis also • Forces us to look closer at the data: concepts, definitions, measurements, sampling, etc. • … and provides feedback into the statistical production process, increasing the quality of statistics, by uncovering errors and mistakes

15. Analysis means … • Selecting among all the possible numbers • What is… • Important? • Interesting? • New…? • Making the figures comparable • And comparing: pointing out differences, trends and tendencies • Over time • Between groups

16. Finding the Story • Pick an indicator and ask …. • What is the level and the rate of change for the nation? • How do different subgroups/regions etc differ? • What is driving the change? • How much change affect other aspects of life? • How does this compare with other countries?

17. Telling the Story • Short Simple Communication – Use Plain Language

18. General motto: KISS! • Keep It Short and Simple! • This applies to: • Tables • Graphs • Titles • Text

19. General motto: KISS! • User-friendly presentation • of statistics • Guide to creating a dissemination strategy and dissemination • guidelines for developing and transition countries • On www.paris21.org

20. From: 2004 Census, Qatar User-friendly?

21. From: Statistical Indicators 1923-2004, Turkstat User-friendly?

22. General motto: KISS! • Men & Women not Males & Females • People not Persons

23. General motto: KISS! • A female born in 2010 has a life expectancy at birth of 77.3 years • Or • In 2010 a baby girl can expect to live to be more than 77.

24. Telling The Story • Use new ICT tools and other techniques

25. Telling The Story Ask 4 questions: • What do we have/use traditionally to present our statistical data? • Are all these options effectively helping us to reach our different audiences? • What are the new possibilities in this area? • Are they better suited for our targets and will they help improve communication on statistics?

26. Gapmider Factbook on Gapminder

27. Fusion Charts

28. You Tube

30. Web 2.0 – Information Explosion • Search engines • Government and NGO websites • Communication tools • youtube for video, • Interactive documents • Discussion forums on data • Many eyes, swivel • Wikis • Mash-ups • E.g. google maps plus data on [war, water, mobility…] from 3G phones • Information and misinformation explosion

31. NSI The role of the media Traditional dissemination model • Media • The public • Libraries • Education • Government/org. • Business

32. Media NSI “New” dissemination model • The public • Libraries • Education • Government/org. • Business

33. The media are of vital importance because: • They represent an important channel of dissemination • They help increase the visibility and public recognition of the NSO • And can improve the publics trust in statistics

34. Statistician and journalist: Like cat and dog?

35. We must cooperate Journalists are our best friends …

36. Two basic rules when communicating with the media: • Equal treatment • No pre-release access • Establish a release calendar

37. In many NSOs dissemination is still limited, because: • Focus on data collection and processing • Lack of experience (and coordination) • ”Fear of dissemination”? • Lack of dissemination strategy and guidelines

38. “Statistics are people with the tears washed away” —Victor Sidel Jon.Hall@oecd.org