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GSS > Learning and development > Sharing seminars

Sharing seminars

What is a sharing seminar?

The Best Practice and Impact division (BPI) host a series of sharing seminars which are open to all government departments.  The aim of these seminars is to help create a culture of shared innovation across the Government Statistical Service (GSS).  These sessions are 90 minutes long and are broadcast as live web broadcasts or dial-in sessions.

Each seminar is made up of three short presentations showcasing work relevant to the topic of interest. Participants can ask questions and find out more about the topic, with the overall goal being:

  • improved collaboration
  • problem solving
  • peer learning

John Pullinger is very supportive of this initiative and has said “It’s always encouraging to see expertise being shared to join up work across the GSS”.

All materials will be shared, including code where appropriate, and BPI will facilitate follow-up actions where there is an appetite. The webinars themselves will be broadcast live and made available via BPI’s youtube channel.

To get involved in discussions about the sharing seminars, you can visit the dedicated slack channel.

Upcoming sharing seminars

The next sharing seminar will be on the GSS Awards and will take place in December. Further details of this event, including presenters and venue, will follow in due course.

Previous sharing seminars

Power BI is a collection of software services that lets you connect to your data sources, visualise data to discover what’s important, and share that with anyone you want. Across government, Power BI is being used to display and creatively present and disseminate data both internally and externally.

On 11 July 2019, the Best Practice and Impact division hosted a webinar on Power BI. There were presentations from colleagues from Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, Companies House, and Office for National Statistics. There were presentations on the process involved and lessons learned from introducing Power BI into a department, the use of Power BI internally to display business performance, and use of Power BI externally (i.e. for publishing statistics).

We have published the Power BI presentation materials (PPT, 10.5MB). Please contact the presenter if you require further information.

There is also a slack channel set up so you can talk about Power BI with your colleagues from the GSS.


Accurate geographical referencing is vital to making any statistical outputs and datasets compatible and comparable. However, each department, agency and service provider will capture slightly different information about an address or may store it in a particular format to suit their needs.

Different storage methods and information captured mean that address data is often inconsistent, is of varying quality, and can be held in multiple places. Matching addresses is much easier if they’re written in the same way, so we need a process where lots of existing data can be matched against something definitive and trustworthy. That’s where address matching comes in.

On 14 May 2019, the Best Practice and Impact division hosted a webinar on address matching. There were presentations from colleagues from the Valuation Office Agency, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, and Office for National Statistics on innovative techniques used to match addresses.

We have published the address matching presentation materials (PPT, 5.93MB). Please contact the presenter for further information.

There is also an address matching slack channel where you can join the conversation.

We received some great feedback from this seminar, with departments using this new knowledge to drive improvements in their own teams:

“Off the back of the address matching seminar the other week I’ve had several departments get in touch with me to further discuss methodologies. The methods  when applied to our data I think is going to drive a massive improvement in our process.”


Regional Seminars

As well as the webinars run by BPI, a group of analysts from the GSS presentation and dissemination sub group are planning to hold regional sharing seminars over the next year. Each seminar will last half a day and will involve presentations, interactive sessions and discussions around the presentation and dissemination of statistics.

The first seminar will take place in Wales in November and the aim is to then spread this out into departments in other regions. The team are currently compiling a list of presenters and sessions, if you would like to present or would like to receive further information then please contact us.

Email for more information.


If you have any ideas for future sharing seminars or would like to present on one of the proposed topics, please email