Last year we launched the Data Science Accelerator Programme, believing that “time, training and technology” could help government analysts learn data science skills.
Participants in the programme dedicate time away from their main job, work with a mentor (training) and receive a developer laptop (technology) for a 3 month period. Their aim is to devise and deliver a data science project that will benefit their own particular area of government.
This approach has proven to quickly embed data science skills in teams across government, as graduates from the programme apply the skills they’ve learnt to their day jobs. Departments and agencies including Transport, Energy & Climate Change, DEFRA, Education, Office for National Statistics, Business, Innovation & Skills, Cabinet Office, Health & Safety Executive, Food Standards Agency, HMRC, DCMS and DWP have already participated.
As the programme has evolved, we’ve found that bringing the whole group together once a week is really beneficial. This interaction provides an important opportunity to learn from each others’ experiences. Weekly sessions facilitate discussion as work develops, and helps to refine skills in presenting on data science; key to influencing decision makers and bringing data science to the attention of colleagues.
Projects that our accelerator programme graduates have already worked on include visualising and tracking animal movement, understanding diversity of recruitment to the Civil Service fast stream, and predicting and identifying financially at risk education providers.
Want to know more?
If you are just getting started in data science and would like to know more, this useful blog talks about some of the resources our team have found helpful. Please get in touch by leaving a comment below or come along to one of our Data Science Show & Tells, the next one is on Thursday 2nd July at GDS.
Interested in the Accelerator Programme? It’s important to have the support of your line manager so discuss it with them and get in touch to find out how to apply. Our second intake has just graduated from the programme - what have they been up to? We will be blogging about their exciting projects soon, watch this space!