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National Data Strategy – the ONS takes centre stage

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) will take a central role in the new National Data Strategy announced yesterday by the UK government.

As part of this, it is training over 500 data analysts from across the public sector in new cutting-edge data science techniques by 2021. Progress towards this target is already well underway.

The training is being delivered by the ONS’s Data Science Campus, which has been highlighted as core to the government’s strategic aim to make the identification and use of data central to decision making. Recently the Campus completed an audit of data science skills across the UK public sector alongside the Government Digital Service, which is shortly due to be published and is referenced within the National Data Strategy.

Since 2018, the UK’s Data Science Campus has been delivering training by an in-house team on everything from basic coding to advanced data science techniques using methods such as machine learning. This includes a new MSc in Data Analytics for Government, apprenticeship programmes and a graduate data scientist programme at the Campus.

Dave Johnson, Deputy Director at the Data Science Campus, yesterday said:

“There has never been a greater demand for analysts capable of producing close to real-time analysis from an array of new and novel data sources to equip decision makers with the right level of info to make critical decisions about the UK’s future.

“We’ve taken the findings of our recent data science audit, the lessons we’ve learnt from the response to the pandemic and priorities outlined in the National Data Strategy and brought these together to offer the best and most relevant training we can to provide the skills government needs to help with their mission to transform our use of data.”

This training is just one part of the important role the ONS is playing in delivering the government’s new National Data Strategy, which also includes running the new Government Data Quality Hub (DQHub). DQHub will provide a wide range of products and services to drive improvement in data quality across government, including taking forward recommendations from the recent “Joined up data in government” review, which was led by the ONS and the Government Analysis function.

More information about all of the learning opportunities offered by the Data Science Campus is available.

Notes to Editors

Data Science Campus

The Data Science Campus was established within the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in 2017 with a core of well-qualified professionals, involving a strong network of third-party participants in the mission of the Campus. We have set up a series of data projects that provide insight into key policy themes and critical response to national issues and capability building programmes aimed at building data science skills in UK government and other public bodies.

They are located at the ONS Newport site in south Wales, with hubs in London, Titchfield (Hampshire) and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s site in East Kilbride.

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