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Comment on: On the role of data, statistics and decisions in a pandemic statistics for climate protection and health—dare (more) progress!

Walter J. Radermacher (2022)

AStA Advances in Statistical Analysis. Online first

Abstract. In the Corona pandemic, it became clear with burning clarity how much good quality statistics are needed, and at the same time how unsuccessful we are at providing such statistics despite the existing technical and methodological possibilities and diverse data sources. It is therefore more than overdue to get to the bottom of the causes of these issues and to learn from the findings. This defines a high aspiration, namely that firstly a diagnosis is carried out in which the causes of the deficiencies with their interactions are identified as broadly as possible. Secondly, such a broad diagnosis should result in a therapy that includes a coherent strategy that can be generalised, i.e. that goes beyond the Corona pandemic.

Extract: “As a prerequisite for promoting improved data practices, there needs to be a deeper and broader analysis and understanding of what role data plays in contemporary society (Beaulieu and Leonelli 2021; Diaz-Bone and Horvath 2021; Henneguelle and Jatteau 2021). In this context, it is by no means sufficient to devote attention to the technical processes, the economics of data or similar. Likewise, it is not enough to focus the ethical and legal questions on the protection of individual privacy. With a proliferation of data, new dynamics are triggered that lead to the replacement of the previous well-ordered (infra)structures of statistical production based in the public sector by other forms of (decentralised and individual) use and production of data. The statistical logic of the past two centuries is being replaced by a data logic. Even if this statement comes across as too pointed, it nevertheless leads to an examination of the risks contained in this trend and measures to counter them effectively (Radermacher 2021b, 2021c).” (p. 4)

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