“On this first World Statistics Day, I encourage the international community to work with the United Nations to enable all countries to meet their statistical needs.” Ban Ki Moon on World Statistics Day, 2010.

The modern growth of digital data sources escalated the demand for statistical literacy. It is now an unquestioned and accepted truth of life that we live in a world dominated by science and technology and that this inevitably requires a workforce and members of society, in general, to be more scientifically literate and numerate. Without having the right statistical care no one organisation can better utilise their statistics for proper planning and running of their businesses. Public sector organisations rely heavily on accurate statistics to make timely decisions regarding budgets, public policy, programme implementation, and general organisation priorities.

To promote the importance of statistics and statistical literacy around the world, the United Nations Statistical Commission celebrates a World Statistics Day in global collaborative endeavour after five years. The first World Statistics Day was celebrated on October 20, 2010 with the theme “Service, professionalism, integrity: celebrating the many contributions and achievements of official statistics”. On June 3, 2015 the United Nations General Assembly designated October 20 2015 as the second World Statistics Day and decided to celebrate the day every five years on October 20. The second day was celebrated with the theme “Better data, better lives”.

This third World Statistics Day is being celebrated around the globe on October 20, 2020 with the theme “connecting the world with data we can trust”. This theme reflects on the importance of trust, authoritative data, innovation, and the public good in national/regional statistical systems. The Statistics Division of the United Nations Department of Economic Affairs is the global coordinator of the campaign, defining global key messages and making outreach resources to countries and other partners available through this website.

The role of statistical institutions in promoting statistics and statistical literacy always remain exceptional at the federal and provincial levels in Pakistan. The Bureau of Statistics Punjab, as the premier statistical agency of the province contributes to promote the vision and scope of World Statistics Day every time. The Bureau of Statistics (BoS), Government of the Punjab is the hub of statistical data activity in the province and is responsible for the collection, processing, and dissemination of statistical data through periodic publications and electronic media. BoS, Punjab is an attached department of the Planning and Development Department. The functions of BoS, as standardised by the National Statistical Council, are to carry out provincial-level data collection, to coordinate and support statistical activities across the province, to liaise with the Federal Statistical System, to act as Provincial Electronic Data Processing Agency for various provincial departments and to prepare and disseminate provincial indicators by collecting information through institutional sources as well as by conducting new censuses/surveys.

In this regard, BoS Punjab has planned to celebrate the World Statistics Day 2020 by spreading statistical literacy through conducting a symposium on the theme of World Statistics Day 2020 and poster presentations to policymakers and researchers. The symposium is arranged to be held at the Planning and Development Board, Lahore on October 20, 2020. Participants would include senior officers from the P&D Board, Provincial Statistical Cells, and renowned academicians. The Minister of Finance Punjab, Mr Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht, will be the chief guest on the occasion. A poster presentation, related to the Theme of World Statistics Day 2020, will be arranged at BoS Headquarters Johar Town on October 21, 2020.

The mission statement of BoS states, “To develop and harness capable human resources, build a dynamic organization, develop proactive planning and client feedback system, enhance collection sophistication & integrity of data and increase simplicity & user-friendliness of statistical outputs.” The vision states, “The Bureau of Statistics, Punjab strives to be the leading statistical agency of the province, providing accurate, relevant, timely and user-friendly data whilst ensuring professionalism, transparency and integrity.”

The field of statistics is the science of learning from data. Statistical knowledge helps to use the proper methods, collect data, employ the correct analyses, and effectively present the results. Statistics is a crucial process behind how we make discoveries in science, make decisions based on data, and make predictions. Statistics allows you to understand a subject much more deeply.

The increasing demand for more and better statistics has brought to the front position the importance of statistics as a strategic resource for national and international development. Statistics are now recognised internationally as part of the enabling environment for development, and constitute an essential element in improving the ability of the government to develop appropriate policies, manage the economy and social development reform policies, monitor improvements in the living standards of the people and report back this progress to the public using solid pieces of evidence. According to the World Bank, good quality statistical data are needed to manage results, to set targets and monitor outcomes, to design development policies and strategies, to make evidence-based decisions about the allocation and management of the scarce resource.

Good decisions on effective policies, services, and behaviours require timely, accurate, and relevant information. Yet there is a striking disconnect between the need for information and the ability to respond to that need. To collect, collate, analyse, and communicate the necessary information in a timely and understandable fashion requires organised processes and procedures.

If nothing was uncertain we would not need statistics.

Since nearly everything varies in some fashion, we need a way to describe and work with that variability. We already know this and we know about statistics as being the right set of tools. Yet we hesitate, avoid, and refuse to pick up the appropriate tool. We learned and practiced using data collection, measurement error calculations, hypothesis testing, statistical process control, and design of experiments as part of our work.

Please encourage and support the use of statistics.

Basically, expect the use of statistics to design, conduct, and analyse experiments. Do experiments to learn and reduce uncertainty.

We would say, “Let the data talk.”