- The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) has been utilising technology to improve data collection and dissemination of information.
- Director General of STATIN, Carol Coy, said the entity has converted to an electronic data collection system, which has made the process of gathering information speedier and easier.
- The Director General said that all publications produced by STATIN are available on the website free of cost.
The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) has been utilising technology to improve data collection and dissemination of information.
Director General of STATIN, Carol Coy, said the entity has converted to an electronic data collection system, which has made the process of gathering information speedier and easier.
“So, for household surveys and the Consumer Price Index (CPI), we now collect the information on tablets…and the information is uploaded to our servers here in office. We are no longer using paper, which results in the data being collected and transmitted in a much speedier manner,” she told JIS News.
Miss Coy noted that one advantage of the electronic system is that other agencies with similar technologies in place are able to transmit information to STATIN in a timely manner.
She noted too, that last year, STATIN relaunched its website: www.statinja.gov.jm, aimed at enhancing the provision of data to its stakeholders and the Jamaican populace.
“So, we upload a significant portion of our information on the website and you are able to download this information whether as a flat file or excel…you can also call us at STATIN if you need more information than what is on the website or email us at email@example.com and we will facilitate your requests,” Miss Coy informed.
The Director General said that all publications produced by STATIN are available on the website free of cost.
“We have stopped publishing books as persons are not really buying the publications anymore…they need the information and they need it at hand and so this is why STATIN has been focusing on its website,” she pointed out.
“So, if you have your phone, then you can access STATIN’s website, or visit our social media platforms. We are also looking to use YouTube and develop apps because we know we have to move with the technology and also with what the young people are demanding,” she added.
Meanwhile, Miss Coy noted that over the decades, STATIN has expanded the range of statistics that it provides. Among them is the CPI, produced on the 15th of every month, which measures the movement in consumer prices.
There is also the System of National Accounts, which provides information on the country’s gross domestic product (GDP); the labour force statistics, which track employment and unemployment; and the population and housing census done every 10 years, which gives details on the size of the population in areas such as age, sex, religion and education.
“We have also expanded in providing environment statistics on Jamaica; information on the ICT (information and communications technology) sector…we partner with the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) every year to produce the Survey of Living Conditions and at intervals, we do ad hoc surveys to look at the economic and social conditions of the people of Jamaica,” the Director General outlined.
Currently, STATIN is conducting a year-long household expenditure survey (HES) to collect information on the amount households spend on consumer goods and services such as food, education, health, transportation, recreation and communication.
“We want to encourage persons to continue to support our surveys as this is what allows us to provide the information necessary for the growth and development of our country,” Miss Coy expressed.