Welcome to the latest edition of the GSS Newsletter
- The RSS Statistical excellence in official statistics award for 2017 has been won by Scottish Government.The Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation 2016 (SIMD16). Congratulations Alastair, Maike and Paul!
- The National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM) has launched the second round of the its placement fellowship scheme. The NCRM Placement Fellowships aim to place academic social scientists in non-academic research organisations. The deadline for applications is 06 September 2017 and placements will run between July 2017 and June 2019.
- Have you got a naturally curious mind, keen to find solutions? Are you looking for a fresh challenge that will really put your analytical skills to the test? A role with the GSS as a Statistical Officer (StO) or Higher Statistical Officer (HStO) could be for you – apply today! Applications are also still being received for Data Scientist roles so visit Civil Service jobs for more information.
- The Government Digital Service (GDS) invites GSS colleagues to a Data Science community meet up on 1 August in London. In this session they will be taking a deep dive in to Data Visualisation.
- You now have until the 12 August to apply for 3 exciting opportunities at DCLG. These roles may be of particular interest to those on the Fast Stream original scheme. See the recent news item for more details.
- The Quality Reporting team at ONS has been reviewing their approach to communicating quality and methods information to users. Sarah Tucker blogs about her team’s recent work.
Reflections from the PDC Symposium
The annual GSS Presentation and Dissemination Symposium was held on 30 June at the BEIS conference centre in London. The symposium serves to bring together the statistical community to learn from each but more importantly be challenged to continue to improve.
Keynote speakers for the day included Frank Field MP, John Pullinger and Sir David Norgrove – the recently appointed Chair of the UK Statistics Authority.
There were also a number of excellent parallel sessions, focussing on how GSS colleagues can better communicate the messages from the data that they have.
Presentations from some sessions can now be found on the GSS website and others will be uploaded as they are received. Jamie Jenkins has also blogged about the event in more detail. The Symposium organising committee would welcome your feedback to help them make improvements to next years’ event.
A regional version of the Symposium has also been held this week in Leeds, showcasing some of the sessions from the London event. A follow up to this will also be available on the GSS website shortly.
Code of Practice consultation
The Office for Statistics Regulation recently launched a consultation for a refreshed Code of Practice on behalf of the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA).
The three month consultation, which began on 5 July 2017 provides an opportunity for producers, users and the wider community to see how the Authority proposes to refresh its Code of Practice for Official Statistics, and ensure that public confidence in statistics is maintained at the highest level.
The consultation is the next-stage in a year-long ‘stock-take’ of the Code of Practice, during which the Authority worked closely with members of the Government Statistical Service and the user community.
You can have your say on the draft by going to the UK Statistics Authority website. You are invited to respond by 5:00pm on 5 October 2017.
If you would be interested in holding a consultation seminar in your department during this period, please contact Penny Babb.
New opportunities & Learning Academy latest news
The analytical development strand of the Learning Academy has undergone some rapid change in July. Ceri Regan, the former head of the analytical learning stream has taken up a new post in the Data Science Campus as an academic lead. Ceri will still work closely with the Learning Academy although there’s now a vacancy in this area.
With a newly created SEO post to support the delivery of GSS learning, and a further SEO vacancy that is responsible for the design and delivery of accredited statistical learning, there is an incredible opportunity for a new lead manager and experienced practitioners to take forward their new team to support the career development of the statistical profession. All three roles will be advertised collectively as a campaign aimed at attracting the brightest and best to work across our sites. For more information on the current progress of the recruitment and for details about the roles please contact Paul Littler.
Despite the sudden lack of resource in the analytical strand, work carries on. Mango solutions continue to deliver Data Science training at ONS sites. Colleagues in Methodology are also providing valuable expertise in sharing knowledge and skills. The Learning Academy is also bringing in two temporary workers to assist in a full review of the learning demands within the analytical profession in order to plan resources for the future, and to produce a brand new level 6 qualification to replace the RSS Higher.
This year’s conference is titled ‘Pioneers: on the forefront of Statistics and Data Science’
The parallel session planning team are hard at work to ensure we have another successful year for presentations but need your help.
We are currently in the process of recruiting presenters from a variety of organisations, both public sector and private sector; and are now asking all interested parties across Government departments to speak to their teams and submit abstracts for consideration.
This is an exciting opportunity to show off recent statistical development in your department. Have you made improvements to the way data are collected and managed? Has data science improved the way you process and disseminate data? Have you found new ways of engaging with users of your data? It would be great to hear from you about any developments you are particularly proud of. This is a chance to help spread that expertise and good practice across the GSS.
Please could all interested submit abstracts for consideration by the 16th of August to Michael Cole (DWP).
Training & Events
- The GSS Capability Team are currently finalising the Short Course Programme for 2017-18. This programme will deliver courses that underpin robust analysis and data science in government, providing an overview of various statistical and analytical techniques and includes information on how and why to choose the appropriate methodology.
- The programme will be available in July, check back on the website for details or for any further information, please email the GSS Statistical Capability Team at the following address: email@example.com
- To apply for any of the short courses, please complete an application form.
- The National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM) offer a range of training courses and events, see here for the 2017 events.
- A new programme of Data Science Training is now available for all GSS and GSG staff. Courses are available for those who are keen to understand what Data Science is and what this means for us, through to developing coding skills in R or Python. Courses are available via classroom or e-learning options.
- Please see the full programme of training on eventbrite.
- The evolving Learning Academy Data Science learning pathway shows the learning offer from raising awareness through to expert level.
- For further information, please contact the Data Science team at the Learning Academy via:firstname.lastname@example.org
- The 2017 European Statistical Training Programme (ESTP) catalogue is now available. ESTP deliver a programme of courses providing statisticians the opportunity to participate in international training courses, workshops and seminars at postgraduate level. Please note all applications for these courses should be submitted through the UK ESTP contact point: email@example.com. Further details are available here.
- MSc in Data Analytics for Government
- Growing and building the capability of the workforce across government remains a key role of the ONS Learning Academy and the Data Science Campus. Delivering a Masters level qualification has always been a requirement for professional career development. Working in partnership, the Learning Academy and Data Science Campus have successfully appointed, following a competitive bidding process, University College London, Oxford Brookes University and Southampton University to be part of a Framework to deliver the MSc in Data Analytics for Government.
The application process for the MSc in Data Analytics for Government is now open. Please see the linked information for the courses being provided by Southampton University, Oxford Brookes University and University College London before deciding which MSc course you are most interested in. Our apologies are extended on behalf of the three Universities, as their websites are not currently available – we will update you as soon as these are live.
All applications for MSc in Data Analytics for Government will be made directly to your University of choice. Please use the following contact points and information as your guide:
- Southampton University – For the full MSc and individual module application forms and submissions, please contact Paul Smith – firstname.lastname@example.org
- University College London – For the full MSc and individual module application forms and submissions, please contact either Professor Patrick Wolfe – email@example.com or Sofia Olhede – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Oxford Brookes – Programme Structure. For the full MSc, applications may be submitted online via UKPASS: bz/UKPASS. If you are interested in one of the individual modules, you will need to contact Dr. Rachel Long for the relevant application forms: Tel: 01865 484591; Email: email@example.com
Please ensure that you have discussed the funding for your studies with your line manager and budget holder.
Please note that you must have already atttained a numerical degree level course, or a non-numerical degree course with Continuing Professional Development/work experience within a numerical field, before you can apply for the MSc in Data Analytics for Government.
The universities and the programme
There are 4 core modules that should be the same across the 3 providers, but the optional modules can vary. Attached is a list of what each provider is going to deliver.
- Southampton – £9,000
- UCL – £14,000
- Oxford Brookes – £7,200
Southampton will deliver their modules in a block week, whereas UCL and OB will deliver theirs one day per week.
Further MSc routes have also been identified by the ONS Learning Academy to support a broad geographical spread of the workforce. For more information on the range of options available, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
A new bidding process is planned for 2018, aimed at expanding the list of MSc providers in the Framework.
- MSc in Official Statistics
- The MSc in Official Statistics was jointly developed by the University of Southampton and the GSS to cover the core skills and knowledge needed by professional government statisticians. The course formed the primary Masters programme for statistical and analytical development across government from 1999 – 2017. The programme has since been replaced by the MSc in Data Analytics, under a Framework agreement.
- Those who are already enrolled onto this programme, will be able to continue with their studies through to completion
Ideas and contributions on existing or new content are encouraged. Your views are important to us. Please submit your content for the August newsletter by Wednesday 23 August 2017.
The next edition of the newsletter will be published on Wednesday 30 August 2017.
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