Professional standards to be set for data science

By Data Tricks, 25 July 2020

It has been announced that professional standards for data science are to be developed through a joint initiative by The Royal Statistical Society (RSS), The Chartered Institute for IT (BCS), the Operational Research Society (ORS), the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng), the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), the Royal Society and the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA).

The standards will be industry-wide and designed to ensure an ethical and well-governed approach to ensure the public can have confidence that their data is being used ethically, stored safely and analysed robustly.

An increasing number of education institutions have for some time been offering data science qualifications. There has also been a lot of discussions among professional bodies on defining data science, but there has yet to be a professional framework for the field.

The organisations involved aim to fill that gap by developing the necessary industry-wide standards, starting with existing academic qualifications and progressing to current professional standards. The group will work with universities to ensure that educational programmes deliver the right skills and knowledge for those looking to enter the profession.

This follows recommendations in the Royal Society’s 2019 report on ‘Dynamics of data science skills’, that data science should be developed as a profession and that ‘in the longer term, professional bodies such as the BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT (BCS) and the Royal Statistical Society (RSS), should work together with employers and universities to identify the skills needed for data scientists and develop accreditation to ensure students and professionals can be confident in the quality of new courses.’

You can read more about this development on the BCS website.

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