Statistics Week Message

| 16/10/2014

This week (October 13-17, 2014) is Statistics Week in the Cayman Islands.  This is being held in collaboration with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) which is celebrating the region-wide Statistics Day on October 15, 2014.  This year’s celebration has the theme “Data Revolution for Sustainable Development.”  In many parts of the world, the development of statistics has been recognized as a critical factor in facilitating sustainable economic development.

In the new “information economy,” greater focus is being centered on the generation and use of economic information as a resource, in addition to a greater emphasis being placed on human capital as the principal producer, repository, and disseminator of information. Organizations continually aim to maximize profitability or value for money, and increase the productivity of human resources. To achieve this objective, an even greater reliance is placed on the utilization of sound information. In short, good statistics allied to appropriate government policies, business and individual plans can change things radically for the better.

The rapidly emerging environment of the “information economy” further underpins the importance of statistical offices as   information sources. Although it is not easily recognized, information provided by these agencies can have significant impacts on the lives of people through various uses of their outputs and services. 

Statistics such as the gross domestic product (GDP) influence the way in which people view their country’s economic prospects and challenges.

The more familiar consumer price index (CPI) provides a basis for changes in the compensation paid to workers and pensioners, as well as utility charges.

Macroeconomic statistics also provide a snapshot of the country’s standing in the global economy, which we in the Cayman Islands cannot take for granted in view of our reliance on off-shore markets. Several of these statistics such as GDP per capita and   balance of payments determine in part the government’s sovereign credit ratings and therefore, the interest rates paid by the government and businesses in the global capitalmarket.

In recognition of the challenges posed by the data revolution, as Minister for Finance and Economic Development, I have prioritized a number of changes that seek to further make our official statistics more responsive to the needs of the community in general and policy-makers in particular.  Additional resources are being provided to the Economics and Statistics Office (ESO) for new surveys. Next year, the Household Budget Survey 2015 will be conducted from January to December. This survey will determine the importance or statistical weights of householditems that will be included in an updated consumer price index basket which is popularly used for monitoring the cost of living in the Islands.   

Starting next year as well, we will have two Labour Force Surveys (LFS) – in April and October. (The October 2014 LFS, covering all districts of the Cayman Islands, started last Sunday, October 5th, 2014). LFS interviews are now conducted using tablets rather than the previously used paper questionnaires. With this enhanced technology and twice-a-year survey, we can expect more timely labour force statistics in support of employment monitoring and policy-making.

I have also proposed amendments to the Statistics Law aimed at strengthening the flexibility of ESO to respond to emerging data requirements on one hand, and ensuring greater participation of residents to these data collection activities on the other hand.

The official statistics being disseminated by the ESO are not only beneficial to the local community; they have also become assets for raising Cayman’s reputation in the global investment community.  Top-notch global data organizations have recently requested to become data dissemination agents of ESO’s economic indicators to global investors. In light of these requests, there is a need for the ESO to catch up with the data dissemination terms and conditions of the most developed statistical offices in the world such as Statistics Canada. More importantly, such opportunities make it more compelling for every member of the community to invest in official statistics by participating willingly in surveys, and ultimately by using them for everyday decision-making.   

In conclusion, on behalf of my Ministry, I wish to extend our sincere gratitude to all members of the community who have willingly participated in all household and business surveys. Without the information that you provide (and will continue to provide), all efforts to upgrade official statistics will be in vain.  ESO will continue to abide by the provisions of the Law and the   highest professional and ethical standards to respect the confidentiality of your information, as it has done so in the many years of conducting censuses and surveys.  

Thank you and may God bless the celebration of Statistics Week 2014 in the Cayman Islands.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Get the accounts sorted! That is the ONLY statistics collection people want.  CARICOM Statistics Week?  You could not make this crap up.

    • Anonymous says:

      what do you believe the statistical odds are of that happening? lol

  2. Anonymous says:

    One must remember the expression "Garbage in, garbage out". The only legal requirement to keep accounts in Cayman appears in the Companies Law and is restricted to companies keeping "proper accounts".

    There is no requirement forindividuals or companies to keep the information the ESO often demands.  The ESO shall also compel those it sends the questionnaire to, to answer it. The questionnaires have little, if any bearing, on Cayman life.  In fact one questionnaire is described as being compiled in accordance with the United Nations System of National Accounts.

    Many businesses simply do not account for depreciation or fuel expenses (separating the sodas, DigiCel Top Ups and patties from purchase of fuel).  To the extent they are able to provide partial answers or wild guesses, it is garbage.

    The real trouble is that every questionnaire makes reference to Sec. 11 of the relevant law and the co-opted participant is told answers are MANDATORY (capitalised, in bold and underlined).  Keeping in mind this interrogation comes from the Economics and Staistics Office of the Cayman Islands Government, a government whose departments are simply unable to keep proper accounts, a government that just "does not know" where a billion dollars is/went/has gone, one promptly falls over and rolls around the floor in hysterical laughter.

    Long live the carnival, may it never end!!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Great statisticians can turn around nations like Deming did with Japan, but you need competenet management to support them.

    At certain higher education institutions, we do not have competent leaders or management or Deans or Presidents, so we all suffer  though thier ignorance as they think of simple statistics like averages and standard deviations(things you see in an elementary course),  or possible some generic multivariate analysis for thier online PhD in education.


    So we never really see the full extent of how statistics can be used, because the people at the top have dumbed down everything for everybody….so sad.

    • Anonymous says:

      You got that right, even more distrubing is how management promotes like minded incompetent teachers, so they are in a vicious cycle that management is riding all the way to the bank, and still providing subpar services because they know they can get away with doing the very minimum and cast any blame on those trying to point out just how bad it is…trash begets trash as my christian mother used to say. 

  4. Soldier Crab says:

    Marco where's the 2% reduction at the supermarkets! gas stations! hardware stores?


  5. Anonymous says:

    There are 3 kinds of lies: 

    – lies

    – damed lies


  6. Soldier Crab says:

    Wasn't someone looking for a place to start reducing the size of the civil service?

  7. Dennis Smith says:

    All joking aside, statistics are an essential decission making tool. How else can you messure national progress or failure? Not having good and accurate statistics is like trying to manage a business without accounting.

    But just as with financial management, you need accuracy in your data and I think that is the point that the minister is making.

    I use ESO data frequently and have seen it improve over the years. Obviously there is still a way to go but I would have to stick my finger in the wind and guess which way it was blowing without it.

    • Anonymous says:

      But wait a minute isnt that exactly the position we are in i.e. Managing the business of government without accounting at least under mac's tenure in 2012.

  8. Judean People's front says:

    " sixty five per cent of all internet statistics are false, the other percentages are just plain made up"

    Abraham Lincoln.

    Pittsburgh. 1862.

    • Anonymous says:

      Never knew Abe was so avant garde – access to the Net back in the 1860s

  9. Anonymous says:

    While we are on statistics jokes:

    There are 10 types of people in the world.  Those that understand binary and those that do not.

    • Anonymous says:

      The thumbs down come from those wondering what the other eight categories are.

      • Anonymous says:

        Probably that category would include the guy who is posting about the dump further down this thread.

  10. Knot S Smart says:

    My favourite statistics jokes:

    Statistics play an important role in genetics. For instance, statistics prove that numbers of offspring is an inherited trait. If your parent didn't have any kids, odds are you won't either.



    If you choose an answer to this question at random, what is the chance you will be correct?

    A) 25%

    B) 50%

    C) 60%

    D) 25%


    What is the probability that statisticians analyze things too much? As compared to the probability that they dont analyze things enough?…

  11. Anonymous says:

    So Marco is making a big deal of this silly little office imposing even more on our lives.  Statistics week, it is like a normal week but worse.

    • Anonymous says:

      ignorant idiot. Every country has a statisics office, authority or department. That is vital information that the government needs to plan and to fine tune its policies. Smh.   

  12. Anonymous says:

    Someone's job is to come up with a title for CARICOM's "Stastistics Week".  They somehow came up with “Data Revolution for Sustainable Development”.  And I don't think that was as a result of a bet.  Shows how far away Cayman needs to stay from everything to do with CARICOM.  And the person who came up with that title is exactly the sort of person who would be on the first ark ship out of Golgafrincham. 

  13. Anonymous says:

    Here is a statistic.  No nation in the world spend more per capita on statistics than the Cayman Islands.