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News

Royal Statistical Society (RSS) Excellence Awards 2019: nominations close 31 March

The RSS is accepting entries for awards that recognise statistical excellence. The Campion Award for Excellence in Official Statistics is open to anyone working in UK government statistics and rewards good practice in producing and presenting statistics for the public good.

If you have an example of excellent work that you think should be recognised, you can find more information on the awards page of the RSS website.

Deadline for entries31 March 2019.

Geography champions - what do they do? 

Geography champions work across the Government Statistical Service (GSS) to improve statistics containing geographical information.

Their main responsibilities are to:
  • ensure compliance with the GSS geography policy, including geographic referencing and coding standards
  • raise awareness in visualisation and use of mapping tools
  • facilitate knowledge sharing
  • promote innovation
Recent topics they have worked on include boundary changes and best practice for maps.

Find out who your departmental geography champion is, or email gsshelp@statistics.gov.uk to find out how to volunteer.

Launch of the harmonisation champion network

The Best Practice and Impact division are holding an event at the Office for National Statistics, Drummond Gate, London to launch the harmonisation champion network on 9 April 2019.

Some of the topics to be discussed at the event are: examples of best practice, how to maximise the impact of improvements and the revised harmonisation process model.

Find out more about the harmonisation champion network.
 

Job role profiles across the Analysis Function 

The Analysis Function has been working to develop role profiles to ensure the roles in the Analysis Function career framework accurately represent typical roles across the government analytical community.

From April, a series of role profiles will be released and the Analysis Function will be looking for feedback.

An important area is the development of role profiles for analysts who don't align to one of the analytical professions. The Analysis Function is developing a Data Analyst role in partnership with many government departments. 

Find out more in their career framework update.

Want to know more about the Analysis Function?
See this webpage on the GSS website, follow @AnalysisFuncti1 on Twitter or email them and ask to sign up to their monthly newsletter.

Faster indicators of UK economic activity

The faster indicators of UK economic activity project, led by the Data Science Campus at the Office for National Statistics, is an innovative response to the challenge of producing faster economic information. This will help policy makers and analysts make informed, timely decisions on issues that affect the whole of the UK.

Highlights from the New Techniques and Technologies for Statistics (NTTS) conference

Nicki Verdeli from the Office for National Statistics shares some of her insights from the NTTS conference she recently attended in Brussels: 
 
The purpose of the conference was to bring together researchers to discuss ongoing and new innovative projects with the common aim of “enhancing the quality and usefulness of official statistics”. View a list of the topics covered.
 
I attended a masterclass on “Metrics for uncertainty qualification” where the following important point was made: “Errors and uncertainty are not the same. Errors are avoidable and should be corrected. Uncertainty is avoidable and should be acknowledged”.
 
David Spiegelhalter from the University of Cambridge also talked about uncertainty. He believes that organisations should be aiming to demonstrate trustworthiness by admitting uncertainty.
 
There was an interesting talk on communicating modern statistics ideas to a non-statistical audience and a talk about best practices for next generation statistics. An important suggestion was: we should talk more to each other, because diversity in communication and interaction is the key for more innovative ideas and success.

Blogs

How to make the most of the online Code of Practice for Statistics

Following the first birthday of the online Code of Practice for Statistics, Job de Roij summarises its key features and the work being done to improve it.

Data Science Campus - our first two years

It's been two years since the Data Science Campus was launched. Our two year review highlights how we are:
  • applying data science tools, methods and practices to provide better statistics to help influence better decisions
  • innovating by assessing the value of new data sources and techniques
  • improving data science skills across Office for National Statistics (ONS) and beyond 
Managing director Tom Smith reflects on progress over the last two years and what's next for the campus.

Events

The Royal Statistical Society (RSS) International Conference 2019

This year, the RSS International Conference is being held in Belfast from 2 to 5 September 2019.

Conference organisers are currently seeking submissions, the deadline is 5 April 2019.

The GSS data project - what's in it for you?

Do you want to increase your understanding of the GSS data project - explore the benefits on offer, discuss the challenges faced and help steer its future direction? If so, the project team, in partnership with the Presentation and Dissemination Committee, would like to invite you to an awareness event.

Date: Tuesday 2 April 2019, 10.00am to 4.00pm
Venue: 1 Victoria Street, Westminster, London

This event will give you the opportunity to share your views with the project team and others from inside and outside government. 

Places are limited, please email darren.barnes@ons.gov.uk to secure yours.

The 24th GSS methodology symposium

The organising committee has now set the date for the 24th GSS Methodology Symposium.

Date: 17 July 2019
Venue: 1 Victoria Street, Westminster, London

Interested? Keep an eye on the event page and future newsletters.

The GSS Conference 2019

The Government Statistical Service (GSS) Conference for 2019 has now been announced, the theme this year is "Our statistics, today's issues". The conference will also host the first GSS awards, recognising and celebrating the excellent work being done across the GSS.

Date: 1 and 2 October 2019
Venue: Sheraton Hotel, Edinburgh

Find out more about the event and the organising team.

Vacancies

You can view all current vacancies on the GSS website.

Learning and Development

Non-analyst volunteers required to pilot a new learning opportunity on data visualisation

The Analysis Function and the Good Practice Team are working together to pilot a piece of learning called "Compelling insights through data visualisation".

This learning is designed to help non-analysts who produce briefings and submissions. It aims to explore how basic design principles can be applied to ensure that users take away the intended message.

As this learning is most suitable for those who aren't "badged" to an analytical profession, we would be grateful if you could share this across your departments and encourage your colleagues to attend.

Date: 3 May 2019
Venue: Office for National Statistics, Drummond Gate, London

Want more information? Email analysis.function@ons.gov.uk.
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Good Practice Team · Office for National Statistics · Government Buildings · Newport, Newport NP10 8XG · United Kingdom

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