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Non-official statistics — an important source of business information

Non-official statistics — an important source of business information

Abstract

Statistical information from organisations outside central government such as trade associations, professional bodies, stockbrokers etc. is an important source of information for business and industry, but very little is known about the range and nature of this non-official material. During an 18 month period in 1983 and 1984 Warwick Statistics Service carried out a survey of regular non-official statistics published in the UK and at the end of the survey had identified 1112 titles. This article outlines the main results of the survey. A considerable number of the titles identified contain original data not available elsewhere and most of the titles have no restriction on their availability. The major criticism of non-official sources is that they are poor at acknowledging the sources used in compiling the data and do not provide adequate notes and definitions and details of statistical techniques used. The general library network holds only a small percentage of the titles identified but the situation is gradually improving and a detailed guide to all the titles will be published in summer 1985 and regularly updated.
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