Entries open for award celebrating statistical excellence and new data sources

Judges are "particularly interested to see strong examples of the development of new data sources" this year
Photo: Harry Lustig/Pixabay

Entries are now open for the Royal Statistical Society’s annual award recognising excellence in producing and presenting statistics for the public good. 

Presented in partnership with Civil Service World and the UK Statistics Authority, the Campion Award for Excellence in Official Statistics “celebrates the role government statisticians play in answering some of society’s most important questions”.

“Government statisticians hold the key to information that enables us to make informed choices: from assessing the real-time impact of the government response to Covid-19, to businesses deciding where to open their next branch or parents deciding which school they’d like their children to attend,” the RSS said in its announcement.

Judges will be looking for projects that meet one or more of the four key criteria: excellent demonstration of gathering information to meet the needs of a range of users, and using this information to develop quality statistics and gain extra insight; excellent or innovative communication of statistics and analysis in ways that are clear, helpful, inclusive and accessible to users; innovative use of statistics and analysis in support of public policy; and development of new data sources to meet user needs.

It is named for the late Sir Harry Campion, a former RSS president and the first director of the UK Central Statistical Office, the forerunner to the Office for National Statistics, in the 1940s.

Last year’s winner was the Office for National Statistics’ Coronavirus (Covid-19) Infection Survey, which the judges said was a “crucial resource during the pandemic and has had an important impact on policy”.

In 2021, a team of statisticians whose analysis found people of particular ethnicities were at a greater risk of dying from Covid took home the prize. The RSS said the Covid-19 Deaths by Ethnicity project had a “profound impact on decision making – from government policy through to the handling of the disease in hospitals” and was an “outstanding example of work that was clearly communicated, innovative, timely and informing a critical topic”.

This year’s judging panel chair Dev Virdee said: “Since the award’s inception we have seen many excellent examples of innovative communication and the meeting of user needs.

“For this year, we are particularly interested to see strong examples of the development of new data sources which are often used as the basis for so many other statistical products, as well as final outputs that directly support policymakers and citizens.” 

UK Statistics Authority chair Sir Robert Chote, said the 2023 entries will “no doubt provide further evidence of the innovation and dedication with which members of the Government Statistical Service have responded to recent economic and social challenges and to the heightened demand for rigorous analysis, evidence and insight that we are seeing at the highest levels of government”.

Entries close on 18 April.

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