Role profile: analytical deputy director or analytical director

As a Senior Civil Servant (SCS) working in the Analysis Function you will typically lead analytical programmes and teams. You will ensure that comprehensive analysis is influencing strategic decision-making.

It is common for SCS analytical roles to require leadership of multi-disciplinary teams, with members from some non-analytical professions. An analytical director or deputy director may need to hold a technical specialism in one of the analytical professions, or have leadership experience outside of analysis. For example, this could be as a leader of an operational or policy team.

We have scoped some common behaviours as part of the Career Framework to help you structure your career development and achieve a role at SCS level.

Analytical deputy directors are at SCS Level 1 (SCS1). Analytical directors are at SCS Level 2 (SCS2).

Typical role responsibilities

Analytical deputy directors and analytical directors:

  • champion and sets direction for major analytical workstreams ensuring they support the aims and objectives of their department
  • ensure that analytical workstreams follow the Government Analysis Standard in line with cross government guidance and monitoring – this includes making sure the guidance is used to best effect by putting review and feedback mechanisms in place
  • ensure adequate assurance processes and controls are in place to produce high quality outputs and outcomes fit for purpose
  • lead analytical capability through setting direction, identifying future needs and embracing advancements seen in analysis across government
  • ensure that the best use is made of the multidisciplinary skills in their team
  • review the relevance of the current evidence base and create space for analysis relevant to future departmental and government needs
  • promote and ensure active contributions to the civil service analysis community
  • create effective working relationships with relevant policy, delivery and analytical leaders – this involves making sure that comprehensive analysis is being used to influence decision making
  • create, support and demonstrates a culture where honest, transparent, trusting and supportive behaviours are expected – this includes making sure that it is clear that differences of thought and outlook are valued

Skills

There are many important skills that analytical deputy directors and analytical directors need to be successful in their roles.

Analytical leaders:

  • are responsible and accountable for the accuracy of all evidence, data and analysis produced
  • set and embed a culture of quality assurance – this means that all members of staff will be aware of how to use the relevant codes of practice, standards and frameworks, as set out in the appropriate government colour books
  • approach the production and use of evidence, data and analysis with an inquiring mind
  • ask the relevant questions to ensure that the best and most relevant methodologies have been used
  • work with teams from across the Analysis Function and other professions, including Policy, Operational Delivery and others, to ensure policy making is grounded in evidence – this ultimately ensures better analysis and leads to better outcomes

Analytical leaders:

  • place data at the centre of everything
  • promote the use of data in the development of policy
  • promote the use of data when analysing the effectiveness of policies and processes
  • influence other people to encourage greater use of the available evidence, data, and analysis
  • communicate insight clearly with very senior stakeholders
  • build relationships with relevant policy, delivery and other profession leaders to ensure the data effectively informs the development of policies

Analytical leaders:

  • are responsible for building analytical capability
  • work alongside the Analysis Function and professions
  • keep up to date with developments in their profession and in other professions
  • ensure that they have the right resource to meet their objectives and priorities – this involves making sure that their teams and departments have the necessary mix of deep professional expertise, skills, and knowledge
  • make sure the resource and capability in their team is used as effectively as possible

Analytical leaders set the strategic direction and make sure it aligns to departmental and ministerial priorities. They:

  • promote the use of innovative methodologies and techniques across all professions
  • understand the contribution made by each of the professions
  • ensure all disciplines are used appropriately
  • ensure colleagues understand how their roles and responsibilities align with priorities
  • look for opportunities to increase the use of evidence, data and analysis – this helps to promote evidence-based decision-making

Analytical leaders:

  • have the appropriate professional accreditation as set by individual professions, where needed
  • promote membership of external professional bodies and accreditation of members of the analysis community
  • constantly works on their Continuous Professional Development (CPD) to make sure they meet any requirements set by the relevant government profession

You may also have to have a professional technical skill requirement depending on your role. You can find more information on technical skills by looking at the professional frameworks.

You will need to have a good track record of producing analysis. You will also need to have experience of working with multidisciplinary teams in an analytical environment.

You can find more information about the skills needed for SCS1 and SCS2 in the Analysis Function Capability Framework.

Experience

Analytical deputy directors and analytical directors are expected to demonstrate that they have experience of:

  • having strategic oversight of analytical work – this includes ensuring it is fit for purpose, effective and fits with departmental priorities and pace
  • having ownership and accountability for appropriately high standard analytical outputs and quality assurance
  • building effective working relationships with policy and delivery directors, Ministers and with other analytical leaders – this involves being able to have open conversations, constructively challenge and build mutual trust
  • displaying strong communication skills, both verbal and written – these can be demonstrated by being able to clearly communicate complex information, even when under political scrutiny
  • leading development of coherent and integrated analysis which reflects the contribution of each discipline, creates synergy and demonstrates excellent cross functional awareness
  • setting a learning culture for all staff and instilling professional integrity with high professional standards – this involves encouraging breadth and depth in analysis skills, including innovative methodologies and techniques, and effective engagement with external experts