Online Program

Businesses as users of official statistics
Mojca Bavdaz, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Economics 
Deirdre Giesen, Statistics Netherlands 
*Boris Lorenc, Statistics Sweden 
Vanessa Torres van Grinsven, Statistics Netherlands/Utrecht University 

Keywords: data providers, data users, availability and use of statistics, data-driven decision making, communication with businesses

Motivation of data providers in business surveys to accurately and timely report requested data is arguably related to their perception of usefulness for the business of the statistics that they contribute to. Evidence from national statistical institutes (NSIs) indicates that data providers to business surveys may perceive official statistics as of little use for businesses. Increasing the perception of usefulness of the data collections might thus help achieve better - more accurate and timely - statistical reporting. This paper addresses one aspect of this conceptual framework: use of official statistics by businesses and the problems businesses encounter in doing that. Sources were: interviews with representatives of businesses (both data providers and potential users of official statistics), interviews and data extracted from the NSIs of the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia and Sweden regarding business practices in using official statistics; and interviews with external experts to be found in bodies like chambers of commerce and similar. The paper highlights uses of official statistics, identifies hinders to its use and suggests some areas of improvement, with the goal to enhance NSIs' abilities to design effective incentives in data collection for official statistics production.