Writing your quality information

Include quality information to help users understand data within your statistical bulletin and the quality implications for that data.

Help users avoid misunderstanding or using the data in the wrong context by making them aware of critical quality warnings or caveats on specific issues relating to the data.

There are three types of quality information within statistical bulletins:

  • Things you need to know about this release
  • Quality warnings within your analysis
  • Quality and methodology

Selecting and structuring your quality information

Your quality information should be:

  • structured in order of priority, with the most important item appearing first
  • what users need to know to avoid misusing data, rather than what they may want to know
  • regularly reviewed and updated to keep it current, relevant and helpful
  • the most important and relevant topics for that data – avoid “default topics” you update every month

Things you need to know about this release

Include the most crucial quality information, for example common pitfalls, that will reduce the risk of users misusing data, in ‘Things you need to know about this release’.

Read our guidance in the ‘What to consider including in your quality information’ section and Things you need to know about this release.

Quality warnings within your analysis

Include any critical quality caveats or warnings within your commentary alongside the analysis they relate to. These can also be included in the ‘Things you need to know about this release’ section.

Quality and methodology

This is the best place for any other quality information that enhances users’ understanding of the data and helps them to make decisions on its suitable uses, but doesn’t meet the criteria for ‘Things you need to about this release’ or relate to a specific area within your commentary.

This section should also signpost to further information on methods used to create the data and what the data is used for. Give a clear reason for the user to access the information so that they understand the benefit of doing so.

Read our guidance on Quality and methodology.

What to consider including in your quality information

Think about what users need to know to understand how to/how not to use the data within the bulletin. This could include, but is not limited to:

  • are there any common pitfalls or areas of misunderstanding from previous bulletins?
  • is there discontinuity; how does this affect the use of the data?
  • what is the most relevant and useful information from your users’ point of view?
  • is there uncertainty in the data and how does this affect its use?
  • what are the main data sources?
  • can you compare this data to other statistics?
  • what are the strengths and limitations of the data?
  • are there important issues affecting data, such as boundary changes requiring revisions?
  • what is the coverage, and what is not included?
  • what’s the periodicity?
  • what similarities and differences are there with alternative outputs?

This isn’t a definitive list of considerations. Different bulletins will have different quality information issues to raise with users.