Working with employers to develop statistical and data skills across the workplace and among customers and so build stronger businesses…
For-profit companies have an interest in understanding more about the role of statistical skills across all levels of a confident, high performing workforce and, where appropriate, paying attention to the understanding of statistics and data their customers bring to the market. The marketing of certain products and services depends on customers possessing a certain level of understanding – annuities for example. We want to help employers and employees acquire skills and examine the potential for their business of a more statistically literate population.
In June 2011, the Advisory Committee on Mathematics Education (ACME)’s ‘Mathematical Needs’ research reported on case studies which showed a real need for stronger statistical skills in the workplace. It also highlighted the need for:
- recruits with skills over and above those that they may actually use in their core work (employers need their workforce staff to think on their feet, with skills to resolve problems in new/unfamiliar situations as they arise )
- new recruits who, whatever pathway they follow before embarking on paid/full-time employment, have continued to develop quantitative skills after GCSE Maths at school, on an apprenticeship or at university (employers are concerned that too many new recruits have done very little quantitative study since taking GCSE Maths).
None of the employers interviewed advocated a diet of work-related techniques learning in school and at HE but were encouraging more applications-driven experience of stats in the classroom so that new recruits could confidently apply themselves to workplace situations in a way which demonstrated real understanding
How can getstats help?
In education: we are working with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and social sciences partners (including the ESRC, Nuffield Foundation and British Academy) to find ways of embedding statistics in the sciences and social sciences level 3 (beyond GCSE) curriculum. Also to develop new pathways for students for whom A-level Maths is not the right option.
In the workplace: an RSS Centre for Statistical Education-developed Audit Tool will be ready to roll out in early Summer 2012. This new web-based self audit tool will identify the level of statistical knowledge and skills in the workplace and create a platform from which interventions and a tailored curriculum can be developed.
How can you help?
Join a getstats Employers Forum: the CBI and Institute of Directors are already represented on the Campaign’s advisory board. We are keen to create a wider community of employer-advisers who can provide practical support to the campaign and help us to achieve the campaign’s goals.
Partner getstats: we want to hear from employers interested in working with us on developing a case study/ies from an initial audit to a programme of tailored interventions. The case studies will be monitored for their effect on workforce confidence and performance and wider business impact.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to hear more.
The RSS Statistics User Forum brings together official statistics users and producers from all sectors to maximise the benefits from data.
Statistics and data in the market
Some companies deal in data and make their money from numbers. Among them are the polling companies, advertising agencies and market research firms. Financial services companies have an interest in the financial (statistical) literacy of their customers, for example those considering the purchase of annuities.
Some firms are investing in new ways of presenting the public with statistical and quantiative data. Ipsos Mori recently joined forces with The Design Laboratory to look at better ways of ‘telling the story behind them numbers’.
We’re keeping an eye on jobs that come up where stats or ‘a quantitative background’ are specified, as a way of illustrating the benefits of taking stats or quantitative methods courses at school, college or university. Here’s one from the Guardian for a job with the media group itself. They are after a ‘data scientist with a successful track record of harnessing big data that drive improvements in user experience and online product change’.