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There is no one right way to go about harnessing the data revolution for sustainable development, and there is not one perfect statistical system. The process of bringing on board a wide range of actors, each using different methodologies and approaches to produce, analyze, curate and disseminate data, will be messy and challenging. This report from SDSN’s Thematic Research Network on Sustainable Development Data provides an independent view on how national systems should evolve in order to accommodate this change. It explains the kinds of data needed to achieve the SDGs and identifies the roles and responsibilities of different actors, as well as the urgent changes needed to build architectures capable of responding to the increasing demand for high-quality, disaggregated and geo-referenced data.