Head of Profession: Mark Gittoes

Large version of profile picture for Mark Gittoes, the Government Statistical Service (GSS) Head of Profession (HoP) at the Office for Students (OfS).

Mark Gittoes is the Government Statistical Service (GSS) Head of Profession (HoP) at the Office for Students (OfS).

My biggest work-related accomplishment

My biggest achievement so far is leading and developing a team from being just two of us to the mature and flourishing team that it is today.

If I could only deliver one thing in the following year

Our analysis department are migrating to a new analysis platform. I hope to be able to support individuals in the department to feel confident in using this new platform to its full potential.

Why I chose a career in statistics

My passion for statistics started at school and was enhanced by my interest in sport. I always wanted to have a career in something I enjoy, and that’s what has happened.

The best skills I bring to the job

One of my best attributes is my motivation to continue to maintain my skills in various different analysis. It helps me understand what the opportunities and challenges are for people doing the main parts of the analysis, and it helps me to keep my knowledge and skills up to date.

One thing I wish I knew before I joined the Civil Service

I wish I had known that organisational memory is important. The knowledge and skills you develop on something that looks like a ‘one-off’ piece of work are very likely to be useful in the medium and long term.

The biggest influence on my approach to work

Several people have influenced by approach to work, including a combination of the three managers I have had in my career and my supervisor for my PhD. Among other things, they all concentrated on good people management. You might have all the right tools and techniques to do things, but it’s the people doing the work that are most important.

One thing I am learning now

I’m learning Python. It’s the first new programming language I have attempted to learn in about 20 years. It’s important as it’s going to be a useful tool for the department’s work in the future.

A hobby that I would love to try

As a Welsh person, I wish I could have played rugby union to a reasonable level. But I lacked the motivation to play it at school and when I did, I was awful.