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Better Statistics CIC

Better Statistics make for Better Decisions.


Better Statistics CIC (BSC) is a social enterprise founded by the three directors Tony Dent, Phyllis Macfarlane and Iain MacKay. As its name implies, the purpose of Better Statistics CIC is to campaign for more reliable statistics, whether produced by private companies or by public bodies. By ‘better statistics’ we mean more trustworthy, useful to more people, of good quality and readily accessible. BSC also benefits from occasional advice from members of the Business Statistics Advisory Group as described below.

To achieve our aims we promote public awareness of, and interest in, the production of accurate and relevant statistics and we believe we contribute best through:

1. Educating people as to the value of reliable statistics, via discussion, debate and engagement

2. Encouraging people to participate in appropriate surveys, which of itself can improve the potential reliability of the data.

3. Challenging poorly prepared or presented published statistics.

Additionally, we conduct independent research to support the following specific objectives:

  • to identify quality issues such as sample or definitional gaps in published data
  • to monitor public engagement and understanding
  • to promote/demonstrate the value of alternative approaches to sampling and data collection
  • to identify trends which indicate how statistics will need to evolve to meet future needs

It is this final ambition that we believe to be unique to BSC, primarily because the founder members all come from the commercial market research sector. Specifically, Better Statistics is the only organisation that, in addition to evaluating current data and statistics, conducts its own research and therefore contributes to an improved environment where data are not just reliable, but also intelligible and accessible.


The Better Statistics Advisory Group

The Better Statistics Advisory Group reflects a diversity of engagement within and across British commercial and business life. The group consists of six insightful professionals who value the quality of statistics and data and their potential impact on decision-making, and who offer robust advice.


Members are provided with the opportunity to see and critique the work of Better Statistics CIC, whilst retaining no direct authorship of any opinions or conclusions made. The advisory group provides both encouragement without bias and dialogue without direction.


Advisory Group Members:

The six members of the Better Statistics Advisory Group are:


Simon Briscoe: Simon is a director of data science start-up t-tab, having previously worked in the civil service, investment banking and at the FT. Among various contributions to our public life he was an adviser to parliament’s Public Administration Committee and a trustee of FullFact.


Sir Vince Cable: Vince was the Business, Innovation and Skills Secretary in the coalition government, he has now retired from politics but retains an active interest in business and economic affairs.


Sir John Curtice: John is Professor of Politics at the University of Strathclyde and Senior Research Fellow at the National Centre for Social Research; he is also chief commentator on What UK Thinks.


Leon Gunning: Leon is Go-to-market Manager at Vodafone following from a period as Insights Manager at Giff-Gaff.


Ms. Vicky Pryce: Vicky is Chief Economic Adviser and a board member at the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR). Vicky has held senior positions in business and the Civil service including as partner and chief economist at KPMG and joint head of the UK government economic service.


Adam Williams: Adam is founder and Managing Director of DBS Data, an original sponsor of Better Statistics CIC.


Supporting Better Statistics:

Those with an interest in the reliability of our statistics can support Better Statistics CIC in a variety of ways, including donating funds through the website by clicking here.

Businesses can also support BSC through the provision of goods or services, in particular Market Research companies can provide their services for the conduct of BSC studies. Please contact [email protected] for further information.

Finally, interested individuals or businesses can become shareholders in Better Statistics CIC. Be aware, however, that there is little fiduciary benefit to be gained by owning shares in a community interest company, because the shares must always remain at par value. Please contact [email protected] for further information.