How does data analysis influence public policy during these times of economic stress? The answer to this question is mired in claim and counter claim by politicians and economists of varying beliefs. It is certain though that summary statistics of data is used to justify changed in public policy in response to economic shocks. The mean of a dataset is one of the important pieces of information used to summarise the properties of the mechanism that generated the data. We often hear terms such as ‘the average growth rate’ or the ‘mean unemployment rate’. However, this information assumes that all the data used in the analysis comes from a distribution that has the same mean. An important question therefore needs to be asked: is this assumption is appropriate?
Interested to learn more about the choices  of  using data for informing public policy decision making? Why not read Dr  Julian Williams’ ideas at: