Frequently Asked Questions about the Analysis Function
About the Analysis Function
The Analysis Function is a cross government network consisting of around 17,000 people involved in the generation and dissemination of analysis across government and beyond.
The function aims to improve the analytical capability of the Civil Service. The mission of the function is to support everyone in government to make informed decisions so that policy and operations can be evidenced and deliver value for money, and improve the lives of the people of the UK.
The Analysis Function is just one of several Civil Service Functions.
Members of the Analysis Function
Analysis in government is delivered by members of analytical government professions and the wider analytical community.
The government profession groups within the Analysis Function include:
- Digital Data and Technology Profession
- Government Actuary’s Department
- Government Economic Service (GES)
- Government Geography Profession
- Government Operational Research Service (GORS)
- Government Social Research (GSR)
- Government Statistician Group (GSG)
The difference between the Analysis Function and the analytical professions
Each analytical profession provides guidance on the expectations of a person in order to be recognised as a member of that profession.
The Analysis Function brings together members of all the analytical professions as well as anyone or any team that produces analysis, evidence and research to support decision making in government. For example, a data scientist working as part of a multi-disciplinary team or a data analyst manipulating and accurately analysing data to provide insight.
The Analysis Function does not remove the professional identities of each individual profession. It brings them together to be greater than the sum of its parts and to make efficiencies.
The Analysis Function fits into the Civil Service’s functional model.
Why we need the Analysis Function
The strategic aim of the function is to integrate analysis into all facets of government. This is a common goal which the analytical professions all hold and will give greater visibility for best practice analysis and analysts at the most senior levels of government. Analytical professionals will be required to pool knowledge, skills and techniques and draw together shared standards and skills.
Individual professions remain important to specialist roles and this expertise will not be diluted.
The Analysis Functional Standard
The purpose of the Analysis Functional Standard is to set expectations for the planning and undertaking of analysis, to build trust and confidence and enable better informed decision making relating to government policy. The first draft was published in May 2019. The standard covers all analysis undertaken in, or on behalf of, government by providing direction and guidance for all, from permanent secretaries and director generals to non-analysts and users or producers of government analysis.
The standards of each profession contribute to this through the following:
- Aqua Book
- Code of Practice for Statistics
- Green Book
- Magenta Book
- Better Use of Data
- Actuarial Professional and Technical Standards
- Professional Science and Engineering Standards
The benefits of being part of the Analysis Function
Members of the Analysis Function will benefit from a broader and more flexible career offer based on the recognition of common analytical capability and skills. The Analysis Function Career Framework describes typical analytical roles which exist across government.
Designed by analysts for analysts, it includes typical analytical role profiles, key skills required along with career pathways and skills levels. There will be a broader and more varied learning and development offer making the most of the collaboration between professions which will help to upskill both analysts and non-analysts. It will support and enable the building of careers across the Function and into leadership.
Learning and development
A variety of analytical learning is currently available within departments and professions. The Analysis Function central team are collaborating across government to make learning widely available to all where possible and have created the Analysis Function Learning Curriculum.
The Analysis Function’s approach to talent management
In April 2019, the Analytical Talent Board signed off the Analysis Function’s first talent strategy which aims to achieve the fourth skills objective set out in the Analysis Function strategy: develop a supply of talent which delivers the Civil Service leadership and diversity objectives.
The talent strategy has five priorities, which are to:
- implement career frameworks and pathways
- develop and promote a learning and development offer
- advertise loans and secondments
- promote Civil Service talent programmes and support those who are on programmes
- understand our talent and our talent pipelines, including Fast Stream and apprenticeships
Email the Analysis Function Central Team: Analysis.Function@ons.gov.uk
Follow the Analysis Function on Twitter: @gov_analysis