Good policies call for good data standards: President

Emphasising on the need for authenticity in the collection of statistics, President Pranab Mukherjee today said that good data was important as its analysis plays a key role in shaping national policies.

"The efficacy of our policies, especially in the social sector, hinges on the quality of data collected by different government agencies. Good policies call for good data standards," he said.

"Great emphasis must, therefore, be laid on the authenticity of the information gathered so as to form the basis of policy intervention," Mukherjee told the 48th Convocation of the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) here.

The President said that the Collection of Statistics Act, 2008, seeks to facilitate the collection of data on several socio-economic and other parameters.

It is the collective responsibility of the citizens and the seekers of information under this Act to ensure that correct and adequate statistics are furnished, he said.

The President advised exercise of due caution in analysing large data and drawing inferences.

"Capturing unstructured data and converting them into a structured format are technically challenging problems. They have to pursued in an enlightened manner.

"Drawing inferences call for adequate scrutiny of the theory requiring combined knowledge of the statistician and the subject expert," he said.

"Enhanced capability of analysing large data had a positive act in our ability to formulate effective public policies as well improving transparency to ensure last mile connectivity," he said.

Mukherjee said that improved ability to analyse data had led to an improvement in weather forecasting systems.

He said data mining and statistical techniques had been used to initiate counter terrorism programes.

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