GSS launches 5-yr implementation data science roadmap
On celebrating African Statistics Day, the Board and Management of the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) has launched the 2022 – 2027 Data Science Roadmap document which lays out the strategy for integrating data science into the production and dissemination of both official and experimental statistics, as well as operations of the Service in Accra.
The Roadmap describes “Data Science has the potential to improve, streamline, and automate the production of currently-released statistics as well as serve as an enabler in the creation of new statistics”.
Accordingly, the document will make the Statistical Service intensify the use of data science in the next five years.
In line with the theme for this year’s African Statistics Day which is “Strengthening data systems by modernizing the production and use of agricultural statistics: informing policies with a view to improving resilience in agriculture, nutrition, and food security in Africa”, GSS data scientists have already developed an online agricultural statistics dashboard application.
The dashboard gives data users access to disaggregated statistics from the 2018 Ghana Census of Agriculture and administrative data from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture. The application was also launched on Friday 18th November 2022.
Again, GSS intends to apply data science for automation, standardisation and discovery of new data trends and analytical methods through machine learning. The augmenting of statistical operations with data science will support the continued production of relevant and timely data to meet the demands of modern data users.
This, according to the document, GSS will apply Data Science in the next few years will be integrating online databanks, developing a standardized reporting dashboard for real-time monitoring of census and survey data collection, use of satellite data to generate ecological statistics and automating quality checks of trade data.
“These will be in addition to the Data Science initiatives existing at GSS such as the analysis of call data records and the harnessing of the resourcefulness of Digital Earth Africa”.
Meanwhile, in an opening address, the Government Statistician, Prof. Samuel Kobina Annim touched on stocktaking on the state of statistics adoption in Ghana, special GSS interventions planned for 2023, and reflections on making Ghana a statistics-driven society.
He revealed that in 2022, GSS has produced 25 routine publications (on CPI, PPI, and GDP), and 12 census and survey reports which have presented more than 150 unique indicators.
“Over 10 new or rare indicators such as vulnerable employment, labour transitions, value of corruption and consumer inflation for the six new regions, were all generated so far in 2022”, he noted.
Prof. Annim further unveiled the Statistical Service CAN (Change, Automation, and Novelty) Agenda which aims to support the processes needed to transform Ghana into a statistics-driven society.
Also, in the keynote address, the Senior Lecturer at the University of Ghana Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness, Dr. Edward Ebo Onumah who read on behalf of Prof. Irene S. Egyir, Dean of the University of Ghana School of Agriculture, said, the call for continued dialogue on scientifically rigorous evaluations of agricultural policies to inform decision-making must be strengthened.
He concluded that “As a nation, we need accurate production statistics to regularly measure the progress of the agricultural sector”.
The launch also featured the release of the first 2021 Population and Housing Census (PHC) Thematic Briefs on Illiteracy in Ghana: Trends, Patterns and Correlates; Childhood Vulnerabilities in Ghana; and the Girl Child: Status and Vulnerabilities.
The programme was the culmination of week-long activities to achieve the purposes of African Statistics Day which include raising awareness of statistics and promoting the development and usage of statistics in Africa.
Source: Eric Nii Sacckey