I am the Head of Statistics at the Department for Energy and Climate Change. We develop, analyse and publish figures on everything from greenhouse gas emissions to fuel poverty and our evidence underpins policy on energy markets and security, the development of renewables and energy efficiency in the home.
Statisticians in government have an independent role in putting out figures the public can rely on, but we also provide crucial advice internally to Ministers and policy makers. Your figures will often make the news and set the terms of public discussion. Ministers love to include compelling statistics in speeches and statisticians often play a key role in supporting them in Parliamentary debates.
As a fast streamer you could be working directly on some key statistical publications or wider government policy documents, or you could be developing new data and analysis. One of our fast streamers has just presented to the Royal Statistical Society some regression analysis he did that tries to estimate the factors determining gas usage. Back again in the office he has turned his attention to producing regular statistics on the subsidies for solar panels and wind turbines.
Fast streamers can often bring fresh thinking to existing areas and have the satisfaction of developing the products they work on whilst learning from more experienced analysts. Big data is creating new opportunities for analysis and interactive real-time data systems. Statisticians in government are now working with data scientists to exploit these new data sources whilst advising on potential biases and privacy concerns in data. In our department we have been able to link datasets, including information from electricity and gas companies, to estimate exactly how much energy is saved through various measures.
However, we are also able to draw important conclusions from designing and implementing more traditional surveys or by finding new ways to exploit administrative datasets. Developments in software and infographics allow us to provide the public and informed users with new ways of visualising and understanding the messages coming out of our statistics.
We are looking for fast streamers who would find it rewarding to apply their prior knowledge and develop new areas of expertise in applying statistics to important real world problems. The fast stream will leave you well placed to take on a whole range of different roles across government, wherever your interest lies.