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The University of Southampton
Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute

Case studies

Since S3RI was formed in 2003, we have worked with many companies and organisations to apply statistics to a wide range of commercial and public sector problems.


We have worked with scientists at the global healthcare company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) on the application of new statistical design and analysis methods in the industrial production of new drugs. This allowed a key process in the production of a new skin cancer drug to be completed in a third of the time. Before submitting drugs for the approval of the US Food and Drugs Administration, GSK scientists now routinely use Southampton's methodology to comply with mandatory quality control requirements - saving time, money, and effort.

Office for National Statistics

Research with the Office for National Statistics has helped transform the accuracy with which census data is able to estimate the UK population’s size and characteristics. Approximately three million people were missing from the 2001 UK Census, an omission that could cause problems for Government analysis and planning for future services. Our research into survey design and estimation has helped address this problem.

Guiding UK and EU policymakers

Expertise from the S3RI has helped policymakers in the UK and Europe to understand more about migration numbers and make accurate population forecasts.

Population data from different countries can be challenging to work with as national statisticians often use different systems and methodologies and levels of accuracy can vary. The University of Southampton has demonstrated how statistical modelling, conceptual frameworks and migration projections can radically improve the information from these various data sources.

A team led by James Raymer, Professor of Demography, Dr Jakub Bijak, Lecturer in Demography and Peter WF Smith, Professor of Social Statistics successfully guided the Office for National Statistics in overhauling its methodologies, to make the organisation compliant with EU regulations. This is significant as ONS data feeds into numerous areas of public policy, public service provision and the UK economy.

The researchers also investigated how migration can alter the demographics of regions and countries and pose a challenge to the accuracy of official population estimates and projections. They demonstrated how government bodies have struggled to accurately document and interpret those changes. They also used that knowledge to work directly with those government bodies to significantly improve their use, and understanding, of the statistics available to them.

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