This reminder has come from Director of the Barbados Statistical Service (BSS), Aubrey Browne, who said that for statistics from any survey to be reliable and accurate, a good response was required from the targeted population.
Mr. Browne continued: “We can only improve the reliability and accuracy of statistics when we get a good response from those respondents who are included in our sample surveys.”
Underscoring the importance of statistics in all factors of life, the Director said they assisted greatly in planning for any development. “So, it is only by having statistics about your country that you can pursue such developmental plans or have empirical data to use to make solid plans,” he noted.
He stressed that everybody uses statistics, not only policymakers, planners and developers, but also students, as well as members of the private sector, who use them to plan their development strategies.
Mr. Browne said two broad sources of information were used for compiling statistics - surveys and administrative records. The BSS currently conducts the quarterly Continuous Household Labour Force Survey and various establishment surveys and price collections.
The establishment surveys include the annual National Accounts Survey; a quarterly Employment Earnings and Hours Survey; a monthly Production and Sales Survey; as well as a monthly Production Price Index Survey. Employees of the BSS also visit several outlets to collect the prices of various items which are included in the monthly Retail Price Index.
Administrative records refer to sources where data is generated during the normal course of transacting business. For example, the Customs Department and Immigration Department generate statistics on merchandise trade (imports and exports) and tourist arrivals, respectively; while vital statistics such as births and deaths are compiled from data from the Registration Department.