Conference 2018: How do we measure the ‘sharing economy’?

Written by Brian Tarran on . Posted in News

Pauline Beck

You might have read about the 'sharing economy', but what is it exactly? That’s a question the statisticians at the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) have been wrestling with.

Speaking at RSS Conference on Wednesday afternoon, Pauline Beck gave an overview of the work ONS has done to date, all of which stemmed from a recommendation in the Bean Review of economic statistics, calling for more data on this relatively new part of the UK economy.

Conference 2018 session: What is 'data journalism'?

Written by Brian Tarran on . Posted in News

Clara Guibourg

'Data journalism' might seem to be a new and exciting offshoot of regular journalism, but a panel of data journalists were at RSS Conference on Tuesday afternoon to dispel that notion. 'Data journalism' is just journalism, they said – and storytelling remains king.

Claire Miller, of press group Reach, made the point that journalists have always used data in their work, whether reporting on crime statistics or budget statements. What has changed is the opportunities afforded by digital platforms to create more interesting, engaging presentations of data.

Conference 2018: Does Britain still back Brexit?

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John Curtice

Has Britain changed its mind about Brexit? That was the question explored by John Curtice, probably the UK’s most famous pollster, during his keynote presentation on the final day of RSS Conference.

The talk followed days of media coverage of a report Curtice had overseen for NatCen Social Research, which suggested that were a second referendum to be held now, 59% would support Britain remaining in the European Union, up from 48% who voted remain in 2016.

Conference 2018: The who, what, when and where of effective graphics

Written by Brian Tarran on . Posted in News

Mark Baillie

RSS Conference 2018 began Tuesday with a call for statisticians to hone their graphical skills to ensure statistical outputs have the desired impact.

Mark Baillie of the pharmaceutical firm Novartis urged delegates to see statistical graphics as a key tool for communicating with scientists and decision makers – but it is a tool that is not fully taken advantage of, he said.

Conference 2018: Fraser Nelson on why fake stats have such virality

Written by Brian Tarran on . Posted in News

Fraser Nelson

Spectator editor Fraser Nelson has 'always been fascinated by the way statistics shape public debate'. But like many today, he is worried by the ease with which fake facts are pedalled to, and accepted by, the masses.

In an address to RSS Conference on Thursday, he despaired at how misinterpretations and falsehoods gain rapid virality – especially those that the present the world, our society or a particular issue in an unfairly negative light.

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