How valuable is a virtual statistical system?

A new website developed by the World Bank and partners offers a virtual look at the complexities of statistical systems. The Virtual Statistical System (VSS) ( aims to “provide well structured access to relevant statistical information for developing countries and other interested parties“.

The VSS presents detailed information by theme and activity as well as e-learning opportunities. Users are encouraged to register and contribute via wikis and discussion groups.

Take a look at this new resource and share your views. Is this a valuable tool? How do you think it should be maintained and improved?


Pivot – a new way to look at data

Last month, Microsoft Live Labs released a new experiment called Pivot, which allows interaction with large data sets through an easy-to-use interface. Users can work with vast amounts of data, shifting from broad to narrow queries and back again. Watch Gary Flake’s TED2010 talk to see it in action.

Pivot can be downloaded from, but requires Windows 7 or Vista and IE8. Being a Mac / Windows XP user, I’m keen to hear from others who have managed to install and experiment with this. Any applications for official statistics?