The RSS has launched a new project to support statisticians working under pressure to feed data into decision-making.
The Covid-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of data being used to inform decision-making at pace. However, it can be challenging to judge when imperfect data is good enough to inform decisions, and which trade-offs can appropriately be made.
‘Statistics Under Pressure’ aims to foster an environment in which statistics, data and modelling that are good enough to inform time-pressured decisions can be used with confidence, particularly in cases where the data is not perfect and decisions might otherwise be made in the absence of data.
The project will support statisticians to provide the best possible statistics under pressure, including:
- Raising awareness around the need for trade-offs in real-world circumstances and the merits of such an approach
- Consideration of when and how to make suitable trade-offs
- Strengthening resources, structures and cross-team communication to allow statistics to feed into decision-making rapidly
- Supporting decision-makers and the public to interpret and use data that is associated with limitations or uncertainties.
In the first instance, we will be developing a series of case studies to illustrate instances in which trade-offs were made in order for data to best inform decision-making.