Scottish Government launches analytical exchange programme

Voluntary organisations are being asked to bid for short sharp projects (up to 10 person days) where statistical or analytical skills could make a difference to their group.

The Analytical Exchange Programme from the Third Sector Unit of the Scottish Government would see individuals or small groups of analysts from the Government (one or two people) act as an analytical consultancy to solve problems in organisations – delivered at no cost.

The scheme has run each year since 2012 and, in total, Scottish Government analysts have supported over 175 projects providing a total of about 600 days of support to third sector organisations. 

Most placements were about either:  evaluation methodologies – how you measure success; bringing together evidence around a subject; or data management/making the most of data you collect.

You also have the potential to look at other things, like data visualisation or how you structure a significant problem. 

Gregor Berry, Assistant Statistician in Local Government Finance, spent about a week working with The Welcoming – a charity which helps newcomers adapt to life in Scotland. 

He said: “The Welcoming wanted help recording and analysing information about the people attending their classes to help demonstrate their impact. After setting up a digital membership form and class registers to collect the underlying information, I worked with them to design a prototype summary report. I then worked to produce an automated solution which enabled them to reproduce this report independently on a regular basis.

“Feedback from The Welcoming was very positive, with monthly reports now being routinely discussed at their board meetings and the information being used in funding applications. The project was also a valuable experience for me – as well as helping an organisation which does great work, I was able to tailor the project to enable me to develop new technical skills.”

To ensure the best fit between your needs and the skills of the analysts in the scheme, to be considered you need to compete a short application (see below for download) by Friday March 1. Matching analysts to organisations will happen soon after and then it will be up to matched analysts and organisations to arrange a mutually beneficial time to do the work.

Based upon the level of interest last year, there may be some prioritisation. Shorter pieces of work may be favoured to maximise the spread of the scheme. 

For more see the online blog