Cloudera helps Office for National Statistics produce clearer view of UK economy

Johannesburg, 20 Feb 2018
Read time 2min 10sec

Cloudera (NYSE: CLDR), the modern platform for machine learning and analytics, optimised for the cloud, announced that the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the UK's largest independent producer of official statistics, is using Cloudera Enterprise to improve the detail and timeliness of ONS Gross Domestic Product (GDP) estimates, which are used to measure economic growth.

The Cloudera platform has helped ONS to include businesses' value-added tax (VAT) data in GDP measurements for the first time. The expansion of available data, together with Cloudera tools, means ONS' analysts, statisticians, economists and data scientists can now perform increasingly fine-grained analysis much more quickly than ever before. The Cloudera platform also includes high levels of security to protect this important data.

ONS GDP estimates have until recently relied upon monthly surveys of 45 000 companies, including all the largest firms, to assess changes in turnover. This information has then been used to estimate the extent to which the economy is growing. As part of ONS' Quarterly National Accounts released on 22 December, 600 000 of the UK's 1.8 million VAT returns were included in its GDP estimate. This represents around 98% of all UK businesses and is an increase of more than ten times the amount of data available which can now be analysed quickly and flexibly.

Using Cloudera Enterprise will not only benefit ONS' use of newly available data sources on its Data Access Platform, it will also facilitate ONS analysis, production and publication of more detailed and relevant statistics, including timely information on local economies.

Additionally, ONS data scientists are using Cloudera Data Science Workbench to transform historical analytical products into new ones using R, Python, and Scala.

David Pieterse, Vice President EMEA at Cloudera, said: "Adding VAT information to ONS' data pool is an important move in providing richer analysis of the performance of the UK's economy. This is an excellent example of how modernising IT systems can empower businesses to deliver phenomenal results and seize control of their data while enjoying cost and time savings."

Additional Resources

Read more about this story: ONS blog - new data will give insight ONS a uniquely detailed view of the UK economy by Nick Vaughan, ONS

Learn more about the ONS data science campus

The Office for National Statistics

The Office for National Statistics is the UK's largest independent producer of official statistics and its recognised national statistical institute. It is responsible for collecting and publishing statistics related to the economy, population and society at national, regional and local levels. It also conducts the census in England and Wales every 10 years.


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