Communicating statistics and analysis

Improving the communication and accessibility of data, statistics and analysis is a priority for the Analysis Function.

This page outlines the guidance and support available in this area.

Data visualisation

Guidance

All our guidance related to data visualisation is on the guidance hub.

It includes guidance on charts, tables, colours, dashboards and infographics – all of which have been updated to reflect the accessibility legislation.

It also includes guidance on maps but this is due to be updated or superseded.

If you publish on GOV.UK we have also developed this page showing examples of HTML tables and charts you can publish on GOV.UK.

Guidance from other sources:

Support

Catherine Hope’s blog post: ‘Three tips for better data visualisation’:

Live sessions on data visualisation and accessibility

Analysis in Government Month session
DataConnect22 session on making charts accessible

Materials from session on “Making charts accessible” delivered as part of DataConnect22.

Data visualisation e-learning

Introduction to data visualisation

Notes:

  • This has not yet been updated to reflect the new ‘Data visualisation: charts’ or ‘Data visualisation: colours’ guidance.
  • It is currently only available to analysts badged to an analytical profession.
  • It will be updated and moved to Civil Service Learning soon.

Data visualisation in R or Python

Notes:

  • This course is currently only available to government analysts badged to an analytical profession.

Exploring data: graphs and numerical summaries

Notes:

  • This is e-learning from the Open University

Presentation and Dissemination of Statistics and Analysis Basecamp:

Basecamps are online spaces with a message board where you can ask questions and share ideas. There are also areas to share documents and advertise events.

Join the Basecamp for the Presentation and Dissemination for Statistics and Analysis.

Data Visualisation Accelerator Programme

The Data Visualisation Accelerator Programme launched in 2021.  It is delivered by the Office for National Statistics’ Data Science Campus on behalf of the Government Data Science Partnership (GDSP).

It runs alongside the Data Science Accelerator. It is open to UK public sector employees including central and local government.

More information on the Data Visualisation Accelerator Programme.

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Accessibility

Guidance

All our guidance related to accessibility is on the guidance hub.

It includes our guidance on the accessibility legislation and guidance on data visualisation and spreadsheets that has been updated to reflect the legislation.

It also includes guidance on making analytical publications accessible. This covers making written content and document formats accessible.

Support

Data visualisation and accessibility:

See the data visualisation section on this page.

Spreadsheets and accessibility:

Accessibility for statistics Basecamp:

Basecamps are online spaces with a message board where you can ask questions and share ideas. There are also areas to share documents and advertise events. Join the Accessibility for Statistics Basecamp.

Clinics

Currently we offer accessibility drop-in clinics on the last Wednesday of every month at 10:00am.

These offer support with any accessibility queries related to data, statistics or analysis. This includes accessibility of spreadsheets, statistical or analytical publications and data visualisation.

All accessibility clinics are listed in the events area of this website.

Other accessibility support

If you have more general questions about accessibility other support is available. For example:

If you want a better understanding of access needs, you might find the following resources useful:

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Dissemination

All our guidance related to dissemination is on the guidance hub.

It includes guidance on spreadsheets and using symbols and shorthand in tables.

It also includes guidance for dashboards.

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Communication

All our guidance related to communication of statistics and analysis is on the guidance hub.

It includes guidance on writing about statistics (due to be updated) and tips on communicating the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19).

It also includes guidance on labelling official statistics and advice for policy professionals

You can also access a guide for writing about statistics on the Style.ONS website.

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Future work

We are reviewing all our guidance to incorporate the accessibility legislation. We have updated the guidance on releasing statistics in spreadsheets, charts, tables, colours, dashboards and infographics. We are moving on to writing about statistics soon. We are also working on updating our data visualisation e-learning.

We always welcome feedback on our guidance. Please email us or use the feedback forms on the guidance pages to let us know what you think.

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Contact

For general questions about communicating statistics, please email Analysis.Function@ons.gov.uk.

Hannah Thomas is the Presentation and Dissemination Support Lead in the Analysis Function Central Team. You can follow Hannah @statshan on Twitter.

All departments should have a Government Statistical Service (GSS) presentation and web dissemination champion. These champions should be able to help you find out more about communicating statistics and analysis in your department.

Read more about the GSS presentation champion network.

Read more about the GSS dissemination champion network.

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