Office for National Statistics
Office for National Statistics and the Alan Turing Institute join forces to produce better and faster estimates of changes to our economy
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) and The Alan Turing Institute have announced a new strategic partnership to produce close to real-time economic statistics to help track changes in the economy while preserving privacy.
The collaboration, which will initially run for two years, between the UK’s national statistics institute and the national institute for data science and artificial intelligence will see ONS economists, analysts and data scientists working closely with a team of Turing researchers.
The first three projects set for delivery are understanding economic networks, economic nowcasting and synthetic data and privacy preservation.
Understanding economic networks
This project will utilise a variety of cutting-edge data science techniques to provide new insights about transactions between firms in near real time, allowing the ONS to better understand the impact of seasonal patterns and major events such as the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic or EU exit on the UK economy.
By rapidly bringing together a range of new data, we aim to create economic models in close to real time that track changes in retail prices, household spending and income at a detailed local level, allowing us to measure the pulse of the economy.
Synthetic data and privacy preservation
This project will develop tools to allow the sharing of private datasets with a wider range of stakeholders, while preserving privacy. This can be done using synthetic data generators which offer a private way to generate data, whilst preserving statistical features in the original data set. Applying this methodology to sensitive data held by ONS would allow greater flexibility for collaboration between ONS and researchers in the wider community and government.
Commenting on the new strategic partnership, Professor Sir Ian Diamond, UK National Statistician, said:
“For some time now we’ve been combining ‘faster’ data from multiple sources, allowing us to rapidly track important changes in our economy in near-real-time and produce stats with deeper insight. The pandemic has turbocharged this kind of work and demonstrated just how vital it is.
“Our new partnership with the Alan Turing Institute will be key as we continue this journey to harness the power of new forms of data. Together we aim to provide higher quality, more detailed and much faster estimates of changes in our economy and society to help inform policy and improve lives.”
Adrian Smith, Director of The Alan Turing Institute, said:
“High quality data is crucial to the future growth, efficiency and stability of the UK economy. This exciting new strategic partnership gives us a new opportunity to work closely with ONS to provide timely insights enabling data driven decisions with the potential to improve our socio-economic well-being.”
Media Relations Office: +44 (0)845 6041858
Emergency on-call: +44 (0)7867 906553
Latest News from
Office for National Statistics
World-leading ONS Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey to continue with “digital” approach01/07/2022 15:15:15
Major long-term study monitoring COVID-19 in the general population to remain in place across all UK nations with new flexible approach for participants.
First Census 2021 results show continued population growth in Wales01/07/2022 11:33:00
The usual resident population in Wales was 3,107,500 on Census Day, 21 March 2021.
Ringing the changes – capturing consumer experience within our inflation statistics15/03/2022 15:15:15
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) announces 2022 basket of goods and confirms plans for “scanner data” in headline Consumer Prices Index (CPI).
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey hailed as “bedrock” of trustworthy communication15/03/2022 09:20:00
A world-leading Office for National Statistics (ONS)-led study monitoring the spread and impact of COVID-19 in the general population has won a communications award for its work throughout the pandemic.
Five Office for National Statistics names in New Year’s Honours04/01/2022 13:15:00
After another year in which data and statistics have dominated public debate, five Office for National Statistics (ONS) employees have been recognised for their contributions to statistics, public health and the census in the New Year’s Honours list.
The ONS announces appointment of two new Deputy National Statisticians22/12/2021 13:15:00
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) yesterday announced the appointment of two new Directors General.
New Fellows to work with the Office for National Statistics and 10 Downing Street to help deliver data science for the public good22/11/2021 15:15:15
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) Data Science Campus and 10 Downing Street’s data science team (10DS) have created a joint fellowship scheme to put research, ideas, and technologies from the frontier of data science to use for the public good.
New funding call for Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey analysis projects29/10/2021 12:43:00
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has launched a new funding call for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey, inviting academic collaborations through short statistical data analysis projects.
Project boosting local authority COVID responses wins top 2021 ONS Research Excellence Award15/10/2021 13:15:00
Five teams of researchers have been recognised at Research Capability 2021, an event held by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), recognising outstanding, innovative research carried out using ONS secure data or data managed by the ONS on behalf of others.