Statistics play a crucial role in the policy making process - government officials need good data to make informed, evidence-based decisions. At the OECD, 200+ statisticians compile, analyze and disseminate a vast array of statistical data to governments, companies and the public every day.
Innovative statistical work is helping the OECD better assess progress toward Green Growth, compare education systems and measure the impact of innovation policy. Constant improvement is at the heart of the OECD's commemoration of UN World Statistics Day, which revolves on the theme, "Better Data for Better Policies."
The impact of statistical research is seen across the OECD's policy work. New indicators are helping economists better measure the effectiveness of innovation policy. By going beyond the traditional benchmark of R&D spending, the indicators have enabled the Directorate for Science, Technology, and Industry to calculate the effectiveness of pro-innovation government policies and tax incentives.
Similarly, new statistical methods are allowing the OECD to better define links between investment in intangible assets - like software, human capital and new organisational structures - and productivity growth, as well as better understand the stronger innovation seen in start-ups and young companies.
The collection of adult height data across the OECD is another example. The data shows considerable differences between the tallest and shortest countries. Creation of an adult height indicator has helped the Directorate for Employment Labor and Social Affairs assess childhood growth conditions, and make new policy recommendations to governments.
Statistics continue to fuel public debate on education, by describing and analysing the efficiency of different policies implemented by decision makers across the OECD. Educational indicators developed in the Directorate for Education serve a large range of users, from governments seeking to learn policy lessons to academics in need of data for further analysis and anyone interested in monitoring how his or her nation's schools are progressing.
The wealth of data produced at the OECD has made it one of the world's leading sources of comparative statistics. More than 5 000 users visit the OECD's principal statistics portal daily, representing 150 000 users per-month and nearly 2 million users annually.
>> Download the agenda of OECD celebrations (PDF 60KB)
OECD innovative approaches to statistics
=> Measuring Progress of Societies
Wikiprogress is a global platform for sharing information in order to evaluate societal progress. It is a place to find information and statistics to facilitate the exchange of ideas, initiatives and knowledge on “measuring the progress of societies”.
It is open to all members and communities for contribution– students and researchers, civil society organisations, governmental and intergovernmental organisations, multilateral institutions, businesses, statistical offices, community organisations and individuals – anyone who has an interest in the concept of “progress”.
=> Taxes at the OECD
The OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration publishes in four major areas. Find out more
=> Data visualisation
The Business Cycle Clock has been designed to better visualise business cycles - fluctuations of economic activity around their long term potential level - and how some key economic indicators interact with the business cycle. It is a dynamic tool which lets us perceive the leading, coincident or lagging behaviour of the other indicators presented.
This application has been developed based on the original concept of the Statistics Netherlands.
The eXplorer developed jointly by the OECD and the National Centre for Visual Analytics (NCVA, http://ncva.itn.liu.se/) combines maps and graphs with stories allowing users to examine time developments and interrelations between indicators.
=> Data access
OECD.Stat provides a single online platform where users can access OECD statistical databases. The user is able to build tables and extract data from across databases as well as work within individual databases.
Use Browse Themes or Search to find the statistical information you need.
Each database includes detailed metadata to help you understand the numbers.
=> Data at a glance
A series of OECD publications where data are presented in a user-friendly format, consisting of charts illustrating variations across countries and over time, brief descriptive analyses highlighting the major findings conveyed by the data, and a methodological box on the definition of the indicator and any limitations in data comparability.
You can find the celebrations of national statistical offices and other international institutions on the United Nations' website at http://unstats.un.org/unsd/wsd
Permanent url for this page: www.oecd.org/statistics/wsd