Analytical exchange programme 2022

January 31, 2022 by No Comments | Category Working in statistics

Roger Halliday Portrait
by Roger Halliday, Chief Statistician

The Analytical Exchange programme matches analysts working in Scotland with voluntary sector organisations requesting help around data, analysis, statistics and research on very short, sharp projects. These can be anywhere between an afternoon to 10 working days. Individuals or small groups of statisticians, economists or researchers then act as analytical consultants to collect and analyse data, solve problems and evaluate impact.

Since its inception in 2012, the scheme has supported projects in over 230 organisations and provided a total of over 900 days of support to voluntary sector organisations. Since 2020, we have opened up this scheme up to analysts beyond the public sector. This works well, with people across a number of private sector organisations participating.

Most placements were about how to:

  • measure, monitor and evaluate success
  • bring together evidence around a subject, or
  • manage and make sense of data you collect
  • visualise data to communicate messages clearly
  • structure a significant problem

But sometimes cover economic analysis, spatial analysis or other related challenges.

In the 2021 programme, Amy Barker from the Student Loans Company and Anouska Pandya from Scottish Government were matched to work with Volunteer Scotland.

Amy said “The Analytical Exchange was an excellent opportunity. Not only were Anouska and I able to make an impact with Volunteer Scotland, but it was also a great way to develop my own skills. Working as a team with Anouska gave us the opportunity to learn from an analyst outside of our own organisations and brought variety into our results. I highly recommend the programme to other analysts!”

Anouska said “The programme was great for broadening my technical experience – I had the opportunity to work outwith my usual topic area of COVID statistics, and to use analytical techniques, such as Latent Class Analysis, that I wouldn’t otherwise have had the chance to in my current role.  I’ve taken a lot away from the placement – I’ve already been able to use lots of what I learned during the placement in my current role. I would definitely recommend the Analytical Exchange to other analysts, as both a great way to develop skills, and as a thoroughly enjoyable experience.”

Matthew Linning from Volunteer Scotland said “Amy and Anouska tackled two pieces of work with us: data visualisation and Latent Class Analysis. They worked as a close and effective team on this assignment and delivered extremely high quality outputs which will be of considerable value to Volunteer Scotland. My impression is that they enjoyed this work and learned quite a bit themselves in the process. A win-win.”

I’m now launching the 2022 programme. I’d love to hear from you if this is something that you think your organisation could benefit from, or you are an analyst or researcher who wants to get involved. However, to ensure we get the best fit between your needs and the skills of the analysts in the scheme, to be considered you need to compete a short application.

Please complete the relevant application form below and send this to me by e-mail: by Friday 04 March.

Matching analysts to organisations will happen soon after and then it will be up to matched analysts and organisations to arrange a mutually beneficial time to do the work.

A slight note of caution is that, based upon the level of interest last year, there may well need to be some prioritisation. Shorter pieces of work may be favoured to maximise the spread of this scheme. I look forward to reading your bids and if you have any questions beforehand, also drop me a note on the e-mail address above.

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