Time Item Details
5 mins
Welcome, previous minutes and actions Meeting of 09.03.2023
Prof. David Hand
10 mins
Integrated Data Service Discussion
Alison Pritchard
Stian Westlake
35 mins
Discussion with User Oral Update
Karen Ellis
20 mins
National Wellbeing and Societal Growth NSEUAC(23)03
Liz McKeown
20 mins
GSS User Engagement Strategy NSEUAC(23)04
Neil Townsend
15 mins
Post Census Consultation NSEUAC(23)05
Ruth Studley
10 mins
Forward Agenda Discussion
5 mins
Any Other Business

Next meeting: Thursday 7 September, Virtual Meeting

Members Present

  • Professor David Hand (Chair)
  • Professor Paul Allin
    Helen Boaden
  • Professor Paul Boyle
  • Robert Bumpstead
  • Nicola Emmerson
  • Edward Humpherson
  • Sarah Moore
  • Sir Bernard Silverman

In attendance

  • Kate Davies (for item 6)
  • Karen Ellis (item 3)
  • Liz McKeown (for item 4)
  • Alison Pritchard (for item 2)
  • Eleanor Rees (for item 4)
  • Emma Rourke
  • Ruth Studley (for item 6)
  • Neil Townsend (for item 5)
  • Tim Vizard (for item 4)
  • Stian Westlake (for item 2)


  • Abi Bale
  • Kerri Gourley


  • Dame Kate Barker
  • Professor Diane Coyle
  • Professor Sir Ian Diamond
  • Professor David Martin
  • Professor Jane Falkingham
  • Professor Ann Phoenix

1. Minutes and matters arising

  1. Members were welcomed to the meeting. Apologies were noted. The minutes from the meeting of 9 March were agreed and all actions were reviewed.
  2. It was noted that Professor Denise Lievesley would be invited to attend the next National Statistician’s Expert User Advisory Committee (NSEUAC) in September.
  3. It was also noted that during evidence given by Professor Sir Ian Diamond to the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee on 23 May the role of NSEUAC was highlighted.

2. Integrated Data Service Discussion

  1. Alison Pritchard and Stian Westlake led a discussion around the data packages which would be supported by the Integrated Data Service (IDS). Members heard that the IDS had planned to only support R and Python. Following discussions with the Economic and Social Research Council, it was agreed that the implications of this decision should be brought to the committee.
  2. Members discussed the potential consequences of switching off the Secure Research Service (SRS) and it being replaced by the IDS and the cost to the organisation in providing a facility for any data packages unsupported by the IDS. Potential dual running of the SRS was discussed; however it would have to be done on a controlled basis, and further solutions would also be explored. The meeting also heard that some cloud-based options for traditional analysis packages had been identified for potential use in the IDS.
  3. Members welcomed the update and agreed that further discussions with direct users would need to take place.

3. Discussion with User (Karen Ellis)

  1. Karen Ellis, Chief Economist at the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) joined the meeting to reflect from her perspective as a user of statistics. Karen discussed how nature loss posed a risk to the financial sector and was an urgent challenge, there was also a need to integrate nature and environment statistics with Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Members also heard that the short termism currently in the financial market would need to be overcome and cultural change would be required.
  2. Members discussed how the WWF could work with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to develop environmental statistics, and in particular raise their profile and usage. The need for internationally comparable data was also discussed however it was noted that there was trade-off between detail and complexity, and comparability across the widest number of countries.
  3. Members welcomed the presentation and agreed the WWF should work collaboratively with ONS on how to best communicate the beyond GDP work.

4. National Wellbeing and Societal Growth [NSEUAC(23)03]

  1. Liz McKeown introduced a paper outlining recent developments in the organisation’s approach to Measuring National Well-being including an update on the review launched last year. Members heard that the pandemic and emergence from it had arguably renewed interest in this area, contributing to the impetus for the review. The review had focused both on what measures best reflect well-being but also on how those measures could be disseminated for maximum impact. The recommendations from the review would launch on 5 July and members were offered the opportunity to comment and provide feedback on plans.
  2. Members supported the update. In particular the proposals to maximise the impact of wellbeing information including plans to bring the release time forward to 7am to align with the release of economic data were discussed and welcomed. Members also noted and endorsed the plans to ensure work on wellbeing was joined up with broader beyond GDP activity in the Office.

5. GSS User Engagement Strategy Update [NSEUAC(23)04]

  1. Neil Townsend introduced a paper on the Government Statistical Service User Engagement Strategy. Members heard that as the strategy was at its halfway point and the team were looking for advice and feedback on how to ensure they continue to respond to user needs over the second half of the strategy. Much progress had been made on the strategy with the aim of ensuring the GSS was best listening to users as well as introducing new initiatives such as the ONS Assembly. Members heard that further work was still required to better join up across other government departments.
  2. Members gave positive feedback on the paper and discussed the need to both identify new users and enhance interaction with existing ones. It was noted that looking at supermarket modelling could be useful for identifying user journeys. which focused on life stages of customers. Members were pleased that the ONS Communications Engagement Hub had incorporated the Census 2021 Engagement team, following success during the 2021 Census at finding ways of engaging with underrepresented groups.
  3. Members welcomed the update and it was suggested that it would be useful for a future item to focus on two engagement themes and hear how ONS had responded to feedback provided.

6. The Post Census Consultation [NSEUAC(23)05]

  1. Ruth Studley introduced a paper on the Post Census Consultation. Members heard that engagement was happening across many sectors. Feedback had been generally supportive and highlighted interest in a range of topics including population definitions.
  2. Members discussed scope for further engagement to ensure that users were clear on how their responses would be used and how they would feed into decisions, and it was noted that engagement would continue throughout the consultation process. Risks and mitigations for ensuring sustainable data flows was also discussed.
  3. Overall, members expressed their support for the material presented in the paper, and emphasised the importance of this work.

7. Forward Agenda

  1. The meeting discussed ideas for future items and members were asked to provide suggestions for future external speakers.
  2. The chair suggested it would be useful to have a speaker from local government and members suggested inviting a speaker from civil society. A deep dive into the IDS was suggested for a future agenda item.

6. Any other business

  1. The next meeting would take place on Thursday 7 September 2023.