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Dear colleague,

The December issue of the Journal is online. The issue contains an interesting mix of articles divided over four sections. The first section on ’The future role of Official Statistics in the informational ecosystem’ is the leading topic for this issue and the item for the second discussion on the discussion platform.

In the second section I proudly present the winning manuscripts of three of the four prize winners of the Young Statistician Prize 2019. A third section, with nine articles, deals with the very current topic of ‘Trusted Smart Statistics’. Finally the issue ends with four rather diverse articles.

In this newsletter I will focus on the first section. I will introduce the other sections in the next newsletters.


Official statistics in the future informational ecosystem; user orientation, profound knowledge and science for a future-oriented strategy

Three manuscripts launch the discussion on ‘The future role of Official Statistics in the informational ecosystem’.

The opening article by Walter Radermacher ‘’Governing-by-the-numbers; Statistical Governance Reflections on the future of official statistics in a digital and globalized society’’, describes how under the cover of Data4Policy, well-known guiding themes such as the modernization of the public sector, or evidence-informed policymaking, are leading to new solutions with new technologies and infinitely rich data sources. Data for Policy means not just new data, techniques and methods, but is not least also a matter of securing an important function and position for official statistics. In order to justify the position of official statistics in the Policy for Data of the future.

Radermacher argues in his contribution that it is necessary to have a clear understanding of the tasks of official statisticians for the functioning of (democratic) societies, with a view to how these tasks have to be reinterpreted under changing conditions (above all because of digitization and globalization).

In the first supporting article *’’The multiple faces of trust in statistics and composite in-dicators: a case for healthy mistrust’’*, Markku Lehtonen describes how in an environment of declining public trust in official statistics and indicators to remain trusted and credible, statistical institutions must safeguard their authority as sources of independent and scientifically sound indicators, while at the same time being innovative, to ensure the relevance of the indicators.

In addition to this trust-building work, embracing mistrust and distrust is essential if indicators are to be relevant and influential. Eric Rancourt in ’’The Scientific Approach as a Transparency Enabler throughout the Data Life-Cycle’’ argues that in fine-tuning their approaches to maintain the vital trust National Statistical Offices (NSO's) need to operate successfully and constantly re-inventing themselves to remain relevant to new data needs and keep up with their high-quality standards and new sources of information. As new practices and new issues are emerging throughout the data life-cycle process, it is important that NSO's realize that transparency becomes a central issue.


Statement for the second discussion on the SJIAOS discussion platform

The contribution by Walter Radermacher ‘’Official statistics in the future informational ecosystem; User orientation, profound knowledge and science for a future-oriented strategy’’, contains relevant discussion items for the future role of official statistics’. These items are the topic of the second discussion on the discussion platform ( You are invited to react on the set of statements.

The main statement you are invited to react on is:
Data are given – Facts are produced: In the long run trust in official statistics can only be maintained based on a continual striving for the best quality, with leadership based on profound knowledge of the business and with customer orientation as the supreme orientation. This implies that statistical products must meet the expectations of users in their design, production and communication.

I wish you pleasant readings of these interesting articles.

Pieter Everaers
December 2019
Statistical Journal of the IAOS

IAOS ISI Zambia2020

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