Proper interpretation of data needed to make informed decisions: RBI Governor

New Delhi: RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das on Wednesday stressed the need for proper interpretation of data to facilitate more informed decision making as it will bring clarity in communication from decision makers as well as build rational expectations from market participants. “The importance of statistics in public policy is well understood. In the face of the high uncertainty brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the discipline of statistics found itself in greater limelight. This unprecedented global phenomenon has affected human effort in many aspects and magnitudes. have been tested,” he said.

Speaking at the RBI’s annual ‘Statistics Day Conference’, Das mentioned that the lockdown in various countries including India posed serious challenges to the compilation and availability of data related to the spread of the pandemic and its immediate impact on various economies and the world. . He needed a solution to a problem he had never seen before.

Recalling India’s experience in collecting data, he said that the Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation had to face huge difficulty in collection of prices for Consumer Price Index (CPI) for two consecutive months during the first wave of pandemic in 2020. Was forced to publish the imposed figures. for many items. (Also Read: Big Step Of Delhi Government! CM Kejriwal Announces Expansion Of Free Ration Scheme)

He said statistical innovations arising from the disruption of the pandemic would have long-lasting benefits and added that the upheaval also challenged statistical agencies to build more public confidence in the resulting statistics. (Also read: Dark fiber case: SEBI slaps Rs 7 crore fine on NSE, penalizes Chitra Ramakrishna, 15 others)

While the new data source opens up opportunities for official figures, he said it also raises issues of discipline.

Das said, “…Statistics should focus on setting the path towards proper interpretation in the current world of data abundance. It can lead to more informed decision making, clarity in communication from decision makers and formation of rational expectations from market participants.” will provide the facility.”

Noting that the development of appropriate data quality frameworks and ensuring data privacy and data security is a top priority, Das said this was a central theme for the recently held International Association for Official Statistics conference in April 2022.

Central banks are both creators and users of statistics to assess policy actions on their part as well as the consequences of their actions. They also need to establish strong communication about their policies and actions in such turbulent times, he added.

Thus, central banks too faced all these challenges by focusing on alternative indicators and data sources to monitor the effects in all dimensions of the pandemic.

Das said as the Reserve Bank considers information a ‘public good’, the central bank will continue to calibrate its information management system for the needs and requirements of various stakeholders.

He said that new and growing demands for policy inputs and decision making require robust quality of statistics and statistical methods.

Talking about the RBI, Das said that it has refocused its statistical efforts during the pandemic to ensure the continuity of its mission.

“RBI’s previous efforts in streamlining data flow, investments in technology and continued engagement with regulated entities paid dividends. Apart from some changes in the methodology of survey data collection, more consistency checks were carried out and sample follow-up revisions were introduced. Ensure the sanctity of the data entered,” he said.

Innovative solutions were found to meet various international reporting commitments along with channels of data collection, validation and dissemination for policy inputs, he added.

“Our endeavor is to adhere to global standards and best practices, some of which are still evolving. In parallel with these developments, more indices, sub-indices and other statistics have also come to the fore as countries strive to achieve higher living standards. , and try to monitor their progress in multiple dimensions,” he said.

He said that various forms of human development indices, happiness indices and inequality indices have been proposed in the literature and are now compiled by various national and international agencies.

Given its vastness and geographical diversity, he said that India needed regional dimensions of national indicators.

He said, “We should aim for detailed description, regularity and better verification. At the Reserve Bank, we see information as a ‘public good’. We calibrate our information management system to the needs and requirements of various stakeholders.” want to stay.”

He said the RBI should also explore alternative data sources and consider ways and means to fit them into the existing analytical framework.