Ally McAlpine

Written 13 posts

Alastair is the Chief Statistician in the Scottish Government. He is responsible for the professional standards of official statistics produced in Scotland, their trustworthiness, value and quality. He is also co-Director at ADR Scotland which is a partnership combining specialists in the Scottish Government’s Data for Research Unit with the expertise of academic researchers at the Scottish Centre for Administrative Data Research.

One year in – Census and the Future

3rd September 2023

Keen readers of this blog will know, I took up the post as Interim Chief Statistician in April 2022. A year on, I was pleased to accept the post permanently. In this blog I will share my experiences from the past year and few months. Reading Time: 5 minutes Passion about Statistics to Improve Decision…

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Our Statistical System – Building Trust in Statistics

15th May 2023

Recently I have written about the importance of communicating our statistics. But how are we building trust in statistics with our audiences and meeting the wide range of needs to support analysis. I am going to cover how we approach these topics and how this helps us improve our statistical system. And, I will also…

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January spotlight on statistical work in Scotland

1st February 2023

Reading Time: 5 minutes In my first blog as Chief Statistician, I spoke about the vital role statistics play in enriching the evidence base. I am passionate about the role statisticians can make to develop better policies for the people of Scotland. In Autumn 2022, I followed up by setting out our mission across the…

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The More We Speak the More Trusted We Become!

22nd September 2022

In my last blog I promised a packed conference that would challenge our thinking when we get back into the office. And boy! Did the organising team manage that? This was evident from the “Flash Talks” and parallel sessions. They really highlighted the breadth and depth of innovative and impactful work that goes on across…

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Becoming Leaders in Statistics

30th July 2022

We all need to become leaders in statistics. In this blog I look at how we can make that happen, the importance of sharing ideas and how your views are shaping our future planning. Reading Time: 6 minutes ‘Statistical Leadership In the Service of Scotland’ – Official Statistics Conference How can we make more of…

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Message from the Interim Chief Statistician – Ally McAlpine

19th April 2022

Supporting our statistics in policy making It will be an honour and a privilege to lead Scotland’s community of talented statisticians. We face many challenges in Government and our statistics plays a vital role in contributing to the response taken. I want to lead our group to get the best value from our statistics. Through…

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Improving the Speed and Accuracy of Agricultural Statistics

16th February 2022

This month, the team are looking at improving the speed and accuracy of our agricultural statistics. They focussed on the computer code and the time taken from receiving data to producing statistics. And, we are learning from gaming and software development. In simple terms, it is a way of coding that removes errors. It also…

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Women in Statistics

25th November 2021

RESAS statisticians recently attended the Royal Statistical Society Annual Conference in Manchester. This month’s blog is written by Christina Coakley, Senior Assistant Statistician. Chrissy is now leading the analytical work to replace the June Agricultural Census. She also led the RESAS delegation at the RSS Conference. Here, she talks about her highlights from the conference…

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Agricultural Statistics Transformation Programme Begins

29th October 2021

Beginning next month, my unit is stepping up work on our ‘Agricultural Statistics Transformation Programme’. I previously spoke about the last December Survey and now we are looking at our other data products. By engaging with internal staff and a wide range of stakeholders across Scotland and the UK, we will improve the data we…

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Making Better Use of Data for Land-Use and the Environment

13th September 2021

In this blog I will talk about work we are doing to make better use of data and evidence for land-use and the environment. I am also calling out to environmental and land-use analysts to get involved. Previously I wrote about improving the use of data that we hold with projects like data linkage. This…

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