Message from the Interim Chief Statistician – Ally McAlpine
Supporting our statistics in policy making
It will be an honour and a privilege to lead Scotland’s community of talented statisticians. We face many challenges in Government and our statistics plays a vital role in contributing to the response taken. I want to lead our group to get the best value from our statistics. Through our work we support better policy making for the people of Scotland with our high quality evidence base.
I would like to thank Roger Halliday for his excellent leadership as the Chief Statistician over the past 11 years. I am sure all statisticians will want to join me in wishing him all the best in taking forward Research Data Scotland as the Chief Executive.
Through his leadership there have been many advances in how we do our work. To name just a few, there have been advances in administrative data, data linkage, open data and data science. This has improved the value of the work we do as statisticians. He has also led the excellent statistical response to the COVID-19 Pandemic in Scotland.
Building on this valuable work, I will meet and engage people who rely on our data, analysis and the continued high standards expected of official statistics. I will listen to these voices during my tenure as interim Chief Statistician and champion the work we do as statisticians and analysts to drive the best value from our statistics.
Preparing for the future
Our professional group has geared up once again for the Census. We have also been building our capabilities in Social Security. But, we also face emerging issues with food security and fuel poverty. So as we move towards hybrid working, we must prepare ourselves for the future using the skills that we honed through the pandemic and working from home. We must also recognise and celebrate our achievements.
Whether the challenge is new or long-standing, we need to think differently in our response. Our leadership has to balance the value of statisticians and their skills with the long term development of our community. I will therefore work with Senior Statisticians to ensure we value the experiences we have had and use this to prepare for the future.
Engaging with our community
To start, I will begin by meeting with all the analytical divisions in Scottish Government. I will also speak to analysts working across many Public Bodies supporting the production of Official Statistics in Scotland. I want to hear from all colleagues and listen to your achievements, new ideas or areas of development that you think need support. Through this blog you will hear what I have been doing on these and other matters affecting our community.
Many statisticians and analysts joined our community since we began working in a very different way since 2020. I intend to announce details shortly about how the Office of the Chief Statistician will also provide support to our newest colleagues.
I look forward to meeting you very soon and support you in the valuable work that you do.