Census data raises questions from Twitter pioneers


The statistical data published by the Statistics Authority, which is the only official statistical reference for data and information in the Kingdom, raises questions of Twitter users who keep pace with every announced statistic by asking about the mechanisms for accessing the results it provides, in an effort to enhance the credibility of this data and the importance of its indicators.

The Statistics Authority is concerned with conducting studies and research, analyzing data and information, and all documenting and preserving information and statistical data that cover all aspects of life in the Kingdom from its multiple sources, codifying, classifying, analyzing and extracting their indicators.

Twitter users were asked recently about how the authority had access to data and information, and what are its ways to do so.

Global methodologies

Assistant professor of statistics and data at Prince Sattam bin Abdulaziz University, consultant for statistics and data science in a number of government and private agencies, Dr. Khaled Al-Qahtani, says that there are global methodologies used to collect and analyze data, and that the Saudi Statistics Authority is working on them.

To explain this in a simple way, it can be said that there are two main sources for collecting statistical data, namely:

The field source, through which data is collected through censuses, research and statistical surveys using one of the data collection methods, the most important of which comes from the personal interview method, by mail, by phone, or by using the Internet.

As for the other source is (administrative records) through which statistical data is obtained from the records kept in bodies, institutions and ministries, and usually the process of recording and preservation is not primarily intended for statistical analysis, and therefore it is required to perform processing and tabulation of these data until It is converted into useful statistical information.

Fact or speculation

The doctor added, “Statistics is only found to test speculation and its credibility. A person, official, or institution may have certain hypotheses. These hypotheses cannot be proven or denied without us carrying out statistical operations that start with collecting data, either through field surveys or administrative records, and then choosing appropriate analytical methodologies.” And reaching the result, here the scientific methodologies are not only based on analysis, but on all stages of the experiment, whether from selecting the sample, designing the questionnaire, or analyzing, and even discussing the results, and with all this, statistics does not generalize the results absolutely as most believe, but there is generalization with an error rate Marginal.

The commission also puts the details of the systematic surveys and the method of their analysis on its website, and the fact that some specialists are surprised that they issue judgments without referring to the main report.

The general rule

Public inquiries revolve around how the statistic is judging a society, setting ratios and making them representative for him. Dr. Khaled’s response to that is that there is a general rule and it is fixed and certain that if the sample is chosen in the right way, then it is a sample representative of the community. .

Two main sources for collecting statistical data:

Field Source:

Through which data is collected through censuses, research and statistical surveys using one of the methods of data collection, the most important of which comes the method of personal interviews, by mail, by phone, or by using the Internet (Internet).

Administrative records:

Through it, statistical data is obtained from the reality of the records kept in the bodies, institutions and ministries, and usually the process of recording and preservation is not primarily intended for statistical analysis, and therefore it is necessary to perform processing and tabulation of this data until it is converted into useful statistical information.

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