When I found out that my first posting as a GSS Fast Streamer was as a data scientist in HMRC I had absolutely no idea what to expect. The term data science was alien to me and how this differed from any other analyst role was not apparent.
Having now spent a year in the DS&T (Data Science and Technology) team within HMRC’s Analytical directorate KAI (Knowledge, Analysis and Intelligence), I am now a fully-fledged Data Science advocate. And, yes, I am still drowning in acronyms.
Coming straight from a Social Research MSc I was worried going into the role that I wouldn’t have all the skills required to carry out this range of work. However, whilst it has been a steep learning curve, I have been supported by my work team and the scheme with plugging my knowledge gaps. This has taken the form of training courses as well as peer support and knowledge sharing sessions across the KAI directorate.
The expectation in the Data Science & Technology team is that we are always looking for better ways to utilise data and are therefore constantly learning new things. As the term ‘data science’ is used in many contexts (often in vague and confusing ways), it is this emphasis on innovation which has made my role feel ‘data science’ driven. I plan to try and bring this enthusiasm for new technologies/analysis techniques with me into all my future posts. Anyone can be a Data Scientist!