The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has opened its new Data Science Campus at its Newport HQ, part of a £17m investment in statistics announced in March last year.
The Campus has been set up to use new data sources and technologies to provide statistics for policy makers and businesses about the fast-moving UK economy and society.
The resource is part of an ongoing programme of work to meet the challenge of providing richer and more real-time statistics to inform decision makers.
Plans for the Campus were announced last spring as part of ONS’s ongoing plans to develop the statistical information it provides. The Campus will work on projects within five themes, under the collective title of ‘People, Planet and Prosperity’:
- evolving economy
- urban and rural
- UK in a global context
The Data Science Campus will work with national and international partners from academia, government and business to deliver joint research programmes and to build UK data science capability, including providing funding opportunities for PhD candidates. As part of this, the ONS set up the first UK Data Analytics apprenticeship scheme and are planning more opportunities to train people in these skills that are so important for the UK’s decision-makers.
Speaking at the Campus launch, National Statistician John Pullinger said: “The Data Science Campus will innovate with new methods and data sources providing opportunities to improve existing statistics and develop new outputs by working across government, industry, academia and charities in the UK and internationally.
“The wide range of training and learning programmes which the Campus will offer will also be central to building data science capability across the UK. Through these actions, the Campus will help us realise our vision of better statistics for better decisions.”
Formally opening the new facility, Cabinet Office Minister Ben Gummer MP, added: “I have been very pleased to see how the ONS is busy transforming itself into a twenty-first century data-driven organisation which serves as a focal point for UK data science and an important provider of skilled jobs in South Wales. Efficient and effective government needs precise economic data, and it is encouraging to see how the ONS and its people are rising to meet that challenge.”
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