A View From The Top
From the Regional Director
This November saw the inaugural national statistics convention held in Australia, NatStats.
The event was a resounding success, not only because of the numbers of attendees (460 delegates), but also because of the outcomes it generated.
What struck me about the Conference was the overwhelming feeling amongst those who attended that we are all doing something very important for Australia. One of the keynote speakers, Enrico Giovannini, Chief Statistician for the OECD, said that if we are passionate about what we do, we should be equally passionate about telling the stories that come out of the statistics. It is the stories that generate the interest that drives effective decision making.
On the same track, we are now familiar with the theory of convergence in the digital world. Mobile phones now tell us everything we want to know from a variety of sources. It strikes me that we are facing the same issues in the statistical world.
We need to tell holistic stories about the state of our community from a range of sources rather than publishing the results of the latest survey. While the ABS is a world leader in this thinking with initiatives like “Measures of Australia’s Progress” and “Australian Social Trends” (both available on the ABS web site), there is still much we can do.
This was a fantastic opportunity to share knowledge across the statistical community and an invaluable experience for all who attended.
Government Statistician and
ABS Regional Director,