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ONS unveils Analysis Function for government



Organisation highlights role of formal structure in encouraging collaboration and building skills in data analysis

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) has published details of the new Analysis Function for central government, which is aimed at promoting collaboration and building capacity in data analysis.

It has confirmed that the first quarterly meeting of its governing body, the Analysis Function Board, has recently taken place and that it is currently working on a draft strategy.

A spokesperson for the ONS said the function is providing a formal framework for collaboration between experts in data analysis, research and evidence, with the aim of developing relevant talent in government.

“The professions are responsible for government guidance on what makes good analysis, evaluation, modelling and ethical use of data, so they are instrumental in the setting of standards in government and communication of those standards,” the spokesperson said.

The Function Board is overseeing the development of a strategy and high level roadmap that is expected to be published early in the next financial year. Its priorities have been identified as building skills in the field, especially in the fundamentals of analysis and developing more multi-disciplinary analysts, increasing the diversity of people working in the area, and developing career opportunities.

Broadening opportunities

Writing in a blogpost on the move, the head of Government Statistical Service careers Gareth Clancy said: “To realise the opportunities for research and analysis to change UK lives for the better means harnessing the full range of analytical skills and broadening the opportunities for analysts within the Function.

“With stretching targets to become a more diverse analytical community the Analysis Function will be vibrant, high performing and resilient through its talented people.”

The board reports to wider Civil Service boards under the head of the Civil Service, Sir Jeremy Heywood, its chief executive John Manzoni and chief people officer Rupert McNeil.

Image by Andy Smith, CC BY-SA 2.0 through flickr

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