Data Profession: two year report
As the head of the Data Profession, it has been exciting to watch the initiatives progressed in the Data Profession over the last 12 months. We saw positive outcomes from some of the initiatives undertaken in the first year and have worked to ensure they are sustained.
I was pleased to see the APS Graduate recruitment process expanded for the 2023 intake with over 1,690 applications and 37 agencies seeking around 300 data graduate placements. I have continued to post In Conversation videos with people for whom data plays a big role in their working lives. The team will continue to provide topical articles through the Data Profession Members Community Platform, launched on 22 August. I encourage all government data professionals to sign up to the platform to engage with data communities of interest.
Several projects launched in the first year are now coming to fruition. These include the SES Data Leadership course, APS Data Capability Framework, Data Job Role personas and Data Literacy Pathways. Work continues on the Growing Data and Digital Talent Pipelines and I am excited to the see the outcomes of the pilot program.
I thank our partner agencies for their involvement and collaboration and I look forward to the further development of the Data Profession in the year ahead.
Dr David Gruen AO
Head of the Data Profession
This review is designed to give the reader a sense of what has been achieved over the last two years, complete with case studies and achievements against the Data Profession Strategy’s measures of success.
The past two years has not been without its challenges, as the APS and the wider community withstood the disruption of COVID, fires and adverse weather events. These events have exacerbated challenges in attracting and retaining the skills we need in critical areas.
Maintaining traction for the Data Profession amid so many competing priorities required a strong connection with the importance of quality data and effective data skills. Engaging with colleagues across APS agencies was, and remains, critical to the success of the data profession. Continually asking what agencies value; what would be of most use during these and future times, helped keep the team focused on initiatives that delivered real value to the APS.
As we firm up our year three program, pausing to reflect on where we are against initial aspirations is a prudent and useful exercise. Lessons learned from experiences to date will inform an even stronger program of work over the next two years. The primary focus remains to embed a data profession that is valued and sustainable.
I thank the Data Profession Team and the Enterprise Program Management Office at the ABS who continue to champion the strategy and initiatives. The teams work together to implement standards and frameworks that have kept the work program successful and accountable.
As SRO, I also thank those agencies that have actively contributed over the last two years. The co-design approach and close collaboration ensures the Data Profession delivers products and programs of value for all APS agencies.
Deputy Australian Statistician
Senior Responsible Officer
Summary – Progress of initiatives against the strategy
In the Data Professional Stream Strategy there were 16 initiatives outlined across 4 strategy themes. Of these 16 initiatives, 11 were achieved, 4 are partially delivered and 1 was not initiated. The status of all these initiatives can be found in the Two Year (2020-22) status on a page.
There were additional initiatives taken forward to support the Strategy. These were:
- Development of a virtual Members’ Community Platform
- Data and Digital Entry Pipeline
- Development of a Data Employee Value Proposition
- Establishment of SES Data Capability Principles
- Creating a strong alignment between the Data Profession and the APSC Academy
There are three ways in which the success of the two-year Data Profession work program has been evaluated:
Progress against benefit measures – The Data Profession evaluated its success against a set of measures linked to program benefits. Specifically:
- Uplift and deepen APS data capability and instil a culture of data excellence
- APS agencies will offer staff clearer pathways and greater mobility over their careers as data professionals
- APS agencies will attract, develop and retain a highly talented data workforce
Case studies – Achievements against the Strategy
The Data Profession has drafted a series of case studies to take a detailed look at some of the key achievements against the Strategy.
Challenges and lessons learned:
Based on the outcomes of the two-year work program the Data Profession has evaluated what worked well, what did not and how it could be improved looking forward.
This report also provides an indication of key priorities for the third year, building on the above.