The importance of the gazetteer is eminent from the dependence of the West on data and statistics catalogued in the wake of the first world war, and its undeniable dependence to break the Ottoman Empire. It is this dependence on data and detailed study regarding specific tribal information, natural habitats characterising statistical data that allowed policy making specific to the needs of the area. This allowed the West to infiltrate the closed societies of the East and ultimately control them, rule them as a single empire.This empirical data has been relied on since ancient times. The Ancient Greek gazetteers have existed since the Hellenistic era (323 -331 BC) and the first known Chinese gazetteer was released in the first century while the gazetteers of British India were published in the mid 19th century. If one were to go in search for statistical and all-inclusive information regarding some specific districts in Pakistan, then it would be realised that all the different aspects have been categorised separately with all of them having entirely different sources of information, with many of them being incomplete eventually making the whole process extremely cumbersome and impossible for anyone to acquire sensibly assorted data regarding Pakistan’s market or societal statistical information.In Pakistan, there once existed a document called the gazetteer that was a geographical dictionary containing a comprehensive, geographical, demographic, economic, social and cultural catalogue. Unfortunately,they have not been updated since long. This updated data could possibly be the bridge between correct policy and attaining desired results from that policy within that region relevant to its specific needs. It can therefore be said that a gazetteer aims at providing its readers, a detailed but an abridged form of information on an area, down to village as a ready reckoner to improve service delivery. In Pakistan, there once existed a document called the gazetteer that was a geographical dictionary containing a comprehensive, geographical, demographic, economic, social and cultural catalogueThe most recent gazetteer that one can obtain is of North Waziristan compiled and published by the armed forces in the year 2018 which is a commendable effort. It has complete information down to the village level of such a remote area and if one wanted to discover anything about this district, they don’t need to look further than this document. Recently, a deputy commissioner from Southern Punjab has confessed that it is indeed included in their job description to compile such a document and promised that a gazetteer of their particular district will be created in a couple of months.It is the responsibility of the deputy commissioner of an area to perform this task of extensive research along with the compilation of the statistical data of their respective areas. This can help guide the policy makers to learn from the data and navigate common problems and proceed to correct conclusions. It is evident that they have become callous but they are not the only ones to blame as there was no demand for this document, or at least no one expressed their demand for it, either by the government or the general public, which is what has led to this gap and void in the long run.Apart from the absence of this document there are some other serious data gaps that need to be identified that visibly hinder effective policy making. Firstly, the Census of Manufacturing Industries (CMI) was conducted in 2006 and has not been updated since, the CMI that was underway in 2016 is still in process according to the Bureau of Statistics.Secondly, the Labour Force Survey data is not available at the district level with the last set of data that is available being from the 1998 census. This severely limits the ability of policy makers and given the growing importance of evaluations and opinions based on data, it is essential that we critically assess the quality of analyses that others present to us.Filling in these data gaps will effectively allow us to evaluate claims based on quantitative evidence and help us differentiate between reasonable and dubious conclusions.Therefore, compilation of this data needs to be prioritised at the district level, which is not an arduous task. Currently, in the digital age, printing costs need not be incurred as everything can be uploaded online. Consequently, capacity at the information ministry would have to be enhanced if information at this scale is to be uploaded and a central data bank/ cloud is to be maintained.Moreover, the government may make it mandatory for deputy commissioners to compile the gazetteer with a mild sanction over their annual evaluation being withheld in the event the task is not timely undertaken. Taking these measures or others that produce the intended result is vital if the present government intends to properly gauge and address the issues of its populace and continue this practice to effectively compare quantitative data on an annual basis.Published in Daily Times, March 18th 2019.