World Statistics Day

Posted : October 20, 2023 -

You wait for a relevant international day to write about and then two come along at once. Hot on the heels of International Spreadsheet Day celebrated on October 17th, we have World Statistics Day on October 20th. Technically this day is only celebrated every 5 years but I didn’t know that before I wrote this, so either wait 2 years to read this or enjoy now.

I wanted to use this day to celebrate one of the less glamourous roles in the analytics family. They are the rhythm section of the band, the holding midfielder, the water carrier. I am of course talking about those analysts who are involved in producing Statutory Returns and other official statistics. What can seem like a never-ending grind is actually one of the most important functions of a team. Advanced analytics and flashy projects will come and go, but Statutory Return data lasts forever. Only this week I was looking at some national activity data from 2008. I can only imagine the toiling and manual work which happened at every organisation across the country to produce that submission back then. The fact that I had 15 years of reliable and consistent information available to me to make a judgement on is incredible. Anybody reading this who played a part in producing the MAR return back in 2008, I thank you. I’m still enjoying the fruits of your labour in 2023.

It was this reason which prompted the United Nations to declare this day as World Statistics Day. On the launch they said

“Acknowledging that the production of reliable, timely statistics and indicators of countries’ progress were indispensable for informed policy decisions and monitoring implementation of the Millennium Development Goals, the General Assembly decided to designate 20 October as World Statistics Day.”

Technology and processes have improved over the years. Automation will play a larger part at most organisations now when it comes to producing Statutory Returns. Time which would have previously been spent manually sourcing data can now be spent in analysing it instead. Given the significance of some statutory returns on comparisons and headlines there will always be validation and human intervention needed. Accidentally put an incorrect figure on an internal piece of analysis and only a few people see it, do it on a statutory return or other official statistic and you make the newspaper headlines.

So on this World Statistics Day AphA wants to toast you and your timeless work. Statutory returns are the one thing that unites all analysts teams and you are at the heart of that. No sitrep is too much, no submission too frequent, no request too spurious. You submit it on time, every time, no matter what day or time.

As always we’d love to see examples of how you have automated submissions in your organisation. Please get in touch with your Branch Lead if you want to showcase your work either at a branch event or via the AphA magazine.

The Association of Professional Healthcare Analysts CIC