Saturday, 2 February 2013

number-crunching or currently trending

As the capital city of the state of Hessen, Wiesbaden is host to a number of important offices of governmental affairs internally but also is home to a national institution, which one hears cited continuously on all topics, das Statistisches Bundesamt (the Federal Statistics Office of Germany)—also known by its short-form, Destatis.  It’s funny to be in the neighbourhood with such a voice of authority, not quite like living next door to the Encyclopedia Britannica but instead like knowing where the Harper’s Index is compiled or where the random fact factory is and where the sibilants try to triangulate all this data and bridge disparate trends.
All bureaus in all governments are mandated to report out and analyze micro- and macro-demographics, sometimes with different competency and the spin of omission, but I believe this independent institution that pries open raw figures from all sources, maintaining a one of a kind research library amongst the headquarters and field offices in Berlin and Bonn, and conducts its own surveys (Umfragen) and censuses (Volkszรคhlungen) from inflation, immigration, birth-rate, crime, employment to include delving into people’s attitudes and sentiments and venturing into the qualitative, rather than quantitative, arenas, like happiness and overall satisfaction, by studying the meta-mines of information that factor into civics for public benefit.