Data Science Accelerator 2022
Blog by Joyce Dalgleish, Business Change Manager, Scottish Public Sector Analytical Collaborative.
The Data Science Accelerator offers public sector analysts a fantastic opportunity to develop their data science skills through project-based mentoring. Delivered by the Scottish Public Sector Analytical Collaborative (SPACe), the accelerator provides protected time to explore your real-life work challenge with the support of a mentor, or to help others as a volunteer mentor.
We’ve had great feedback since the accelerator launched in Scotland in 2018 and I particularly like this quote from one of last year’s participants. This for me really captures the benefits of taking part.
“My technical skills in specific version control, project management, pipelines and databases are far stronger as a result of taking part in the programme. These were technical skills I had wanted to develop for years but could never justify the time, so in this way the programme was one of the best opportunities to be allowed time to develop that I have had access to in my career.” – 2021 Accelerator participant
We are looking forward to receiving proposals for projects that tackle a business challenge with data. We don’t expect that your whole challenge could be solved during the 12 weeks of accelerator, instead this is much more about exploration and discovery. The accelerator can be a way of getting an idea off the ground, perhaps paving the way to a longer-term solution. And you don’t need to have a huge dataset to have a big impact! Many previous projects have had great results with small datasets.
The Data Science Accelerator is open to any member of staff employed directly by a producer of Official Statistics, but we are also open to considering applications from other public bodies where capacity allows. Applicants commit to work on their project 1 day a week over 12 weeks. There is no charge for taking part but managers do have to support the project proposal and release the staff time. Applications can be made as an individual or with one other person.
You and your mentor will have access to an analytical workbench which provides a secure environment with permission controlled virtual machines. The analytical workbench has a wide a range of data science tools. Here you will be able to work with all types of data in a world-class data centre with high performance computing power.
This is an unique opportunity for analytical staff to benefit from the protected development time while also building data science and project skills. As a leader, by supporting staff to get involved, you are contributing to increasing data science capability in the public sector in Scotland, helping to speed up the adoption of new tools and innovative practices.
Applications for the accelerator close on 27 May 2022. Find out more and apply.
If you would like more information about becoming a participant or becoming a mentor please email: DataScienceAccelerator@gov.scot