World Statistics Day

Written by Cmed

The third World Statistics Day will be on 20 October. The event is coordinated by the UN Statistical Commission and is held only once every 5 years.

The theme chosen for 2020 is Connecting the world with data we can trust. Operating in the application of statistics to scientific research, we agree with the vital importance of trust in statistics. As events have turned over the past five years, there could hardly have been a more appropriate choice for 2020. The current presidential election in the US, like the 2016 election and the UK’s referendum to leave the EU, have all been tainted with (accusations of) fake news and dubious statistics published to millions via social media to sway votes in highly sophisticated operations.

This year’s COVID-19 pandemic has led to more public interest in statistics and statistical modelling than we have seen in a generation, as people, healthcare systems, sponsors and governments plan their futures around infection levels and their impact on daily lives.

In clinical trials as in public information, reliable sources and sound processes are essential for trustworthy information, but also objective interpretation of results is critical to good science. Humans tend to be biased in their filtering and interpretation of information: easy to spot in politics, much harder in clinical effectiveness. The best skillsets to help interpret data are those of people who understand the science of statistics, but also have the communication skills to explain them in a meaningful way.

Over the past decade, computing power has accelerated, enabling faster and more detailed analyses. It is now much easier to share knowledge. As the world changes, we change the way we work to meet the changing needs of sponsors and the ongoing development of human knowledge. Functionality that we now have within the software/tools that we use help drive efficiency and build integrity into our data, enabling Cmed to produce results you can trust.

Our lives have changed so much since the first World Statistics Day in 2010, and still more so than in 2000 when Cmed began with a mission to carry out clinical trials more efficiently and effectively than existing CROs. Our aim was always to use our statistical expertise to connect you with data that you can trust, but now we are applying statistics in new and different ways beyond that of a traditional CRO, such as ensuring quality through our new central data monitoring function.