Essentials

There are three sections all bulletins must have:

  • Main points
  • Things you need to know about this release
  • Quality and methodology

You can include other sections when needed, as explained in Writing your analysis.

Main points

This is where you communicate the most important information about your bulletin. Points should be ranked in order of importance from a statistical point of view. Each point should be a single bullet point and contain one message that is expanded upon in the release.

We advise a maximum of five or six main points; if you are getting close to 10 think about whether they are really needed.

Each bullet point should be a single sentence starting with what’s happened, followed by the significance of this. Use a semicolon to split up the sentence if necessary. For example:

“The latest 3 month on 3 month figure shows an increase in growth of 1.6%; this is now the 31st consecutive period of 3 month on 3 month growth.”

Things you need to know about this release

This is where you make clear any vital information the user needs to know so that they don’t misuse or misunderstand the data.

This can include:

  • recommendations about how the data should be used
  • guidance on how to avoid misinterpretation
  • concise definitions of terms
  • any important methodology approaches or changes

Also include a standard bullet point for every release that has National Statistician’s designation.

Quality and methodology

Information about quality and methodology of the data, which helps the user decide how it can be used.

Use this section to communicate any minor changes to methodology or caveats that wouldn’t necessarily go in “What’s changed in this release” or “Things you need to know about this release”, but can help enhance the user’s understanding of the data.

Writing your quality and methodology

We recommend starting this section with a definition of the survey and what data are being collected.

This section must include a Quality and Methodology Information document (QMI) and can also include metadata documentation, if available.

QMI

Use the following standard text before linking to your QMI document.

“The (add name and link) Quality and Methodology Information document contains important information on:

  • the strengths and limitations of the data and how it compares with related data
  • uses and users of the data
  • how the output was created
  • the quality of the output including the accuracy of the data

Other documentation to include

Include metadata documents which provide further information on relevant data quality, legislation and procedures. This can include documents such as user guides, technical articles and any dynamic quality information such as reference tables that changes every time your release is published.