Happy World Statistics Day! Woo-hoo!
OK, so maybe it won't get a lot of fanfare, but it's worth taking a day to acknowledge the role of data in public discourse and education.
Collecting and disseminating useful data about the economy, government finances, demographics, health, the environment, etc. can be a difficult business. Survey methodologies and estimation techniques are inevitably open to legitimate criticism and also attract a good deal of not-so-legitimate criticism (for examples of both, see the debate over the “birth death model” in estimating payroll employment). But all in all, I think our official statisticians perform a valuable service.
I commend the dedication that many statistical experts bring to their reports and publications. They carry out an essential public service — one that promotes peace and democracy by giving citizens reliable and impartial public information about their communities. Their core values — service, integrity and professionalism — deserve full support in all nations.
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