Fable Data wins Statistical Excellence Award


Fable Data is thrilled to announce that we have won the Office for Statistics Regulation and Royal Statistical Society’s 2023 Award for Statistical Excellence in Trustworthiness, Quality and Value. See here for the official announcements from RSS and OSR. Building on our acceptance as a voluntary applier of the Code of Practice for Statistics, Fable has been recognised in our excellence in upholding this standard. Our entry focused on how our Data for Good programme has contributed to public value.

In February this year, Fable joined only a handful of private organisations and became the first company of its kind to adhere to the Office for Statistics Regulation’s (OSR) Code of Practice. This Code is a standard that all providers of official statistics must follow, but can be voluntarily adopted by other organisations that supply data and statistics.

In our Statement of Compliance, we demonstrated how our business effectively follows the pillars of Trustworthiness (through our rigorous compliance procedures), Quality (with our innovative data enrichment) and Value (via our pro-bono work with government bodies and academics). Once our application was accepted, we became eligible for the 2023 award. This is where the OSR and Royal Statistical society recognise organisations who have gone the extra mile in demonstrating Trustworthiness, Quality and Value (TQV).

Our winning entry focused on the pillar of Value and how our Data for Good programme enhances public value. Data for Good is all about getting our rich and timely dataset into the hands of key policymakers and innovative academics for the betterment of society. As such, our entry highlighted the wide range of work done by our pro-bono partners, from the University of Nottingham’s COVID research to more recent working papers by researchers at the International Monetary Fund focusing on important topics in macroeconomics.

At Fable, we pride ourselves in going above and beyond, and we will continue to adhere to these three pillars as the business evolves.

Luke Kennedy, CEO at Fable Data said:
“We are delighted to win this award. I recall my time working in policy and feeling the severe lack of datasets as timely and comprehensive as Fable’s. As a result, it means a lot to me that we’re recognised for the work we do to add value for the public good. There’s a fulfilling circularity to that.”

Read the Civil Service World’s report for more on the Award and Fable’s recognition

You can read our winning entry here:
Fable Data was founded with a vision to innovate the data landscape and put a powerful new dataset into the hands of those who would make the best of it for the public good. Our Data for Good programme gifts our most granular dataset to government bodies, academics and national statistical offices on a pro-bono basis, so that our data is able to facilitate effective policymaking, enable innovative research, and power the next generation of economic indicators.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we established partnerships with important institutions such as HM Treasury, BEIS, and the Deustche Bundesbank that saw the value in our dataset:
“BEIS has used Fable Data to help support questions in a wide range of policy areas. The speed of delivery allows us to get insight into rapidly evolving policy questions in real time, while the granularity of the transaction data enables us to understand the underlying drivers of changes in spending trend. Combined, these features make Fable transaction data a powerful complement to other datasets such as official statistics.”
Also during the pandemic, researchers at the University of Nottingham used the data to explore the regional recovery in consumption in H2 2020 and the impact of local lockdowns. This research culminated in the Track the Economy dashboard, which was presented at the Data after COVID-19 Conference. Since then, these researchers have further exploited the geographic granularity of the data to produce an insightful report challenging the framing of conventional regional economic policy.
Towards the end of 2022, our Data for Good programme contributed to innovating the literature regarding key topics in macroeconomics. Making the most of the high-frequency nature of the data, researchers at the International Monetary Fund produced important working papers on inflation weights and the impact of monetary policy on consumption.
More recently, Fable Data was the sole private data provider at the 2023 European Big Data Hackathon organised by Eurostat. Teams representing various European national statistical offices were challenged to create a policy alert trigger using card data. For some, our dataset was their first taste of working with big data, and the experience subsequently encouraged them to explore adopting big data capabilities. The winning teams presented their innovative outputs at the European Commission’s Conference on New Techniques and Technologies for Statistics, (lived-streamed from 10:49:35 onwards).
As Fable looks to the future, we seek to continue adding further Quality to our Data for Good programme. Our ambition is to combine our internal expertise with the knowledge we’ve gained from our external collaborations to create our own economic indicator. The near real-time nature and scale of our dataset will enable us to produce an innovative leading indicator that will provide policymakers the clearest understanding of the economic environment. In doing so, our commitment to TQV will remain, even as our application of these pillars changes and grows with the evolution of the business.