ONS issues call for industry housing data

Statistics agency outlines desire to form partnerships with third parties

Credit: PA

The Office for National Statistics wishes to team up with businesses that could help improve its data on the housing market.

The UK’s official statistics producer has issued an opportunity notice expressing its desire “to identify and engage with industry partners” in the housing sector that can provide it with additional data sources or other expertise. 

“This will help improve the quality and usefulness of official statistics about our population, society and economy that decision makers, businesses and citizens so urgently need,” ONS added.

For the duration of an initial year-long contract, the statistics body will work with new partners on a trial basis. But this could, in time, lead to a deeper and more formal engagement.

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“ONS is seeking to develop partnerships with organisations that hold information about the housing market within the UK,” it said. “For the first 12 months, these partnerships would be exploratory in nature with a focus on understanding data quality. This initial work could then form the basis for developing longer-term partnerships.”

Organisations interested in working with the ONS have until 27 August to put themselves forward. 

Last year, the ONS set up an £8m dynamic purchasing agreement to support new partnerships with third-party providers of data and related expertise. The goal of the agreement is to augment its own information with existing external data sets that could help provide a more comprehensive picture of trends in the economy and population.

At the time, a spokesperson told PublicTechnology: “We want to explore how data that already exists could be used to help improve our statistics. This is an invitation to public- or private-sector organisations to potentially work with us. We are already doing this, but there will be data out there we don’t know about and which could help us develop our statistics – for example, giving extra colour or timeliness to statistics.”


Sam Trendall

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