Seminar to mark the European Statistics Day
This autumn, the European Statistics Day was celebrated for the second time. The European Statistics Day’s celebration is an occasion to raise awareness of the European citizens to the importance and value of official statistics for the society. Statistics Lithuania, feeling responsibility for provision of objective and reliable information to the society, proper understanding and interpreting of statistics and effective response to changes, in cooperation with the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania, organized a seminar Realities and Visions of Statistics Dissemination. Numbers for EMOJI Generation, which was held on 1 December.
Statisticians have long been discussing the methods of statistical information provision. There is a growing tendency for statistics to be used by people who have never done that before. This was determined by active dissemination of information via social networks. Statistics are often quoted by social network stars. Provision of statistics to non-experts, less skilled yet curious people must be implemented in different way. Such users do not manage or have no time to analyse tables and complex diagrams. This situation is also well-known to ever-rushing decision makers. Moreover, the phenomenon of fake news has been observed lately when false figures provided in an attractive way are treated as truth (e.g. comparison of prices in various countries and Lithuania).
The seminar was opened by the welcome speech of the Director General of Statistics Lithuania Vilija Lapėnienė, who emphasized the importance of official statistics in today’s society and the increasing demands on statistics. Statistical information must be accessible and interesting to different users.
“When meeting with the users of statistics, communicating with them directly and on social networks, we see the obvious need for official statistics to be presented in a laconic, visually attractive and concise way, as a simple and clear product. This is discussed by all European statisticians’ community”, Vilija Lapėnienė said.
The theme of the seminar was presented by the Deputy Head of the Public Relations Division Laima Grižaitė in her introductory presentation. She provided a brief overview of the users of statistics by generation (the Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y, Generation Z and Generation Alpha). According to Laima Grižaitė, effect of social networks is no longer questioned, and communication specialists are now trying to forecast the future users’ needs and to find best ways how to communicate with Generations Z and Alpha. The leading news agencies have already been including pictograms and emoji into their publications thus trying to attract the attention of the users of new generations who do not like to read, who perceive information through emotions, learn and search for knowledge on social networks.
Timothy Allen, the Head of Communications of Eurostat, discussed the realities of the European statistics dissemination and shared experience in developing the products attractive for today’s user.
The experience of Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania in producing and disseminating statistical information about national libraries and Lithuanian press was presented in the presentation of the Head of the Information Sciences Department Dr. Nijolė Bliūdžiuvienė.
In Lithuania, official statistics are produced by the Bank of Lithuania and 21 other public authorities. The activity of these producers of official statistics is coordinated by Statistics Lithuania which seeks to make all official statistics accessible to the public via one portal – Official Statistics Portal. Specialists of Statistics Lithuania Giedrė Norvaišienė and Jana Vanagė presented the Portal.
Jonas Malinauskas, Professor of Graphic Design at Vilnius College of Technologies and Design, and Tomas Aliukas, student of this college, presented the principles and possibilities of visualisation of statistical information and cooperation with Statistics Lithuania in creating statistical infographics. The Professor provided examples of well and not so well-produced infographics, and the student shared his impressions about the production process itself the result of which was recognized as the best infographic of the last year and became a prototype for Christmas card.
We thank the participants for the smiles!