Campion award for Excellence in Official Statistics: 2020 winners

We are thrilled to announce the recipients of this year’s Campion Award for Excellence in Official Statistics, awarded in partnership with the UK Statistics Authority and Civil Service World

The award, named in honour of the late Sir Harry Campion - the first director of the Central Statistical Office – rewards good practice in UK official statistics and those who have gone above and beyond in meeting the needs of users.
The winners are as follows:

Winner: The Ofsted inspection data summary report (IDSR): Data driven insight for inspectors, Abbie Self, Rebecca Driffield, Muredach Diamond, Jeremy Honeywill, Beth Munns and Steve Ball – Ofsted Schools Pre-inspection Data and Insight team (pictured above)
The IDSR is a bespoke report produced for every school in England which provides statistically driven insights to help guide conversations on inspection. The judging panel found the report, which was redeveloped in 2019, to be a worthy winner of this year’s Campion award. They were particularly impressed by the improvement of methods, better use of data and the substantial reduction in costs that were demonstrated in this entry. The project is a fantastic example of understanding user needs, having received positive feedback from school inspectors, with a tangible impact on improving education outcomes.
Abbie Self, Ofsted's head of schools and regions, data and insight, said: 'We’re thrilled to have won such a coveted award. Redeveloping the service to ensure inspectors were equipped with data driven insights to support a new inspection framework and using new technology was a huge achievement for us. To receive the Campion Award in recognition of our efforts really is the icing on the cake.'
Highly commended: Faster indicators of UK economic activity: More timely and relevant shipping indicators, Louisa Nolan, Jeremy Rowe, Alex Noyvirt, Ramiz Farishta, Arturas Eidukas, Harriet Sands, Ioannis Kaloskampis, Gareth Clews, Luke Shaw, Daniel Ollerenshaw, Jonathan Bonville-Ginn, Shane O’Connor, Andrew Sutton, Sumit Dey-Chowdhury, Stephen Campbell, Duncan Elliot, Edward Rowland, Bethan West, Chloe Gibbs, Jack Eykelbosch, Dan Taylor, James Norman and David Matthewson – ONS Data Science Campus – Faster Indicators team
The 'Faster indicators of UK economic activity' project, led by the ONS Data Science Campus, uses innovative and novel data sources to provide indicators at a level of timeliness and granularity not previously possible. With faster economic indicators being one of the biggest challenges for official statistics, the judges found this to be a powerful demonstration of government statisticians aiming to fill data gaps with the innovative use of a novel dataset. The team are to be applauded for producing a piece of high-quality work that is of great interest to users and commentators.
Louisa Nolan, chief data scientist at the ONS Data Science Campus, said: 'We're pleased that the impact of Faster Indicators Programme has been recognised in the RSS Campion Awards this year. As part of the ONS’s work to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Faster Indicators Programme has evolved from the initial experimental indicators that were developed in the Data Science Campus, into a substantial weekly publication, covering a range of social and economic indicators. This gives valuable close-to-real-time insights about the impact of the pandemic on the economy and society from many novel data sources. This would not have been possible without the hard work of teams across ONS coming together to produce and further develop these indicators as stakeholder requirements changed.'
Special commendation: Improving the impact of ONS analysis for all users – ONS Digital Content team
The role of the Digital Content team at ONS is to enable and encourage the creation of content that is accessible to all. This is achieved in a number of ways – through data visualisation, editorial and social media and complemented through training and guidance, as well as standard setting. The judging panel were particularly impressed with how the team had secured media coverage for ONS content in a wide range of outlets, allowing them to broaden their reach. The team’s work is a clear demonstration of a positive culture change, with a concerted effort made to improve accessibility.
Here are some examples of the Digital Content Team’s work
Rob Fry, head of data visualisation at ONS, said: 'I’m honoured to accept this commendation on behalf of the team. Since submitting the nomination, the team's work has been thrust into the public limelight on almost a daily basis – clear, impactful communication and visualisation on the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, reaching millions of users. I could not be more proud of the team and what we’ve achieved.'
Commenting on the award, Sir David Norgrove, who chairs of the UK Statistics Authority, said: 'Warm congratulations to Ofsted on receiving the 2020 Campion Award. Both the winners and runners up this year have created remarkable examples of the best of the work taking place across the UK’s official statistics system, particularly as we begin to take advantage of new sources of data, with existing sources, to answer society’s most important questions. Ofsted’s work on the new inspection report is a pioneering use of existing pupil-level data, allowing school inspectors to focus on outcomes for pupils in a way not previously possible. The faster economic indicators from the ONS have made creative use of new data sources, giving a timeliness to our view of the economy which will be invaluable to policymakers in the winter ahead.'

'The standard of nominations this year was very high and difficult to shortlist,' said Dev Virdee MBE, who chaired the award judging panel. 'All nominees are to be commended for their work. While these awards are for work done during 2019, so they don’t reflect the enormous contribution of government statisticians in dealing with the Covid-19 crisis, they do shine a light on the important role that those in official statistics play. Not only in informing policy decisions and the public, but also in improving societal outcomes as a result. This year’s winners are excellent examples of this, and I congratulate them on their fantastic work.'
UK National Statistician, Professor Sir Ian Diamond, commented on the 'excellent' range of projects nominated for this year’s Campion awards which 'showed how much innovation is taking place across the statistical system for the public good'. He added: 'Ofsted’s project, using brilliant statistical analysis to provide practical support for inspectors enabling them to address an important problem that impacts on the most disadvantaged, are well deserved winners. The highly commended ONS Data Science Campus project showed innovative work using shipping data to provide early indicators. These are widely used and demonstrates the efficacy of the work. Finally, the specially commended project from the ONS Digital team really highlights the importance of good statistical communication in achieving impact.'

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