Chief statistician: Valerie Robinson-James
Chief statistician: Valerie Robinson-James
How much do you know about the work the department of statistics does for our community?

Most people "don't have a clue" what the 26 officers at the government's little-known-about ­department get up to.

But chief statistician Valerie Robinson-James hopes that will change with the introduction of Bermuda's first annual ­National Statistics Day.

She hopes the dedicated day of events on Tuesday, October 13 will teach people what they do and "how crucial they are to the community."

Ms Robinson-James said: "We will show people how we collect statistics and how we use them to benefit the community. We want to show people what we're about.

"We have collected a wealth of ­statistical information and use it to develop profiles of the community.

"We can really tell a story and paint a picture of what's going on in our country."

Premier Ewart Brown will launch National Statistics Day and the public is welcome to attend the 9am session at BUEI titled 'Celebrating the Vital Role of Statistics, for Better Management and Development ­Outcomes.'

Throughout the day statisticians will be holding round-table discussions for the business community, meetings for government heads of departments and sessions for ­students to "give them a taste of statistics."

It is hoped the first event will "get the word out there" by ­"informing and enlightening the public." Similar information days are held by statistical agencies worldwide.

The government department is split into four divisions of economics, business, social and research and the main tool for getting information is surveys.

This includes the annual employment survey to find out the nitty gritty about the island's 5,000 businesses and the annual economic activity survey is used to calculate Bermuda's gross domestic product.

The department is probably best known for the Census, the worldwide household survey carried out every 10 years. Statisticians are currently finalising the questions for the 25-30 page 2010 census survey which will find out health, education and employment statistics about all residents.

The Department of Statistics is based in the CedarPark Centre at 48 Cedar Avenue and is open to the public from Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 5pm.

Anyone who needs help filling out a survey or wants help with a statistical project or university work is urged to make use of the "open-door policy."

For more information visit the Department of Statistics page at www.gov.bm