London Bootcamp Will Increase Data Science Skills Within Local Government

The London Office of Technology and Innovation (LOTI) and the Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) Data Science Campus are running a bootcamp to increase data science skills within London, England’s local government divisions. The program aims to improve local government officers’ ability to help London boroughs and the Greater London Authority (GLA) to use data to gain a deeper understanding of the city; help guide policy decisions; and design more effective services.

“Using data intelligently and responsibly is absolutely key to enabling local government to be truly responsive to their residents’ needs,” said Eddie Copeland, director of LOTI. “This programme will help ensure that London boroughs have access to advanced data skills in-house, aiding them in using the information at their disposal to deliver better, more coordinated services for Londoners.”

The 12-week program uses both structured training and project-based mentoring. It also equips graduates to teach colleagues what they have learned with its “train the trainer” approach.

“Joining up and analysing data is vital to the city’s response to the pandemic but when the crisis struck we simply didn’t have enough native data scientists working across local government,” said Theo Blackwell, London’s chief digital officer. “As public services look at prevention – ill-health, homelessness, poverty, violent crime – these all require a more sophisticated approach to sharing data and having the right teams in place to make a difference with it. So it’s really important that all public services develop their in-house data capability and I’m delighted the City Hall is supporting this work with ONS to upskill a new cohort of data scientists to support local public services.”