Data Skills and Capacity

Helping boroughs to develop, recruit and access the talent they need to use data effectively in their organisations.

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The ability to use and collaborate with data well is now accepted as a vital competency for any council wishing to be truly effective and responsive to its residents’ needs. That ability depends on having access to a number of different skill sets, from information governance to data visualisation, and from data science to data architecture, among many others.

Yet we know that London boroughs often struggle to access those skills. In light of this, LOTI is working on a number of initiatives. These include training and supporting the career development of boroughs’ existing data teams, helping boroughs recruit for data roles more effectively, and raising the level of awareness about how to use data amongst all council staff.

Communities of practice

In support of this work, LOTI hosts three communities of practice to bring together data professionals working across our member boroughs.

  • Data Leaders – a network of senior leaders who want to discuss how to use data strategically in their organisations. This group, which includes representatives from other major public sector organisations like the Met Police and the London Fire Brigade, meets monthly.
  • Data Practitioners – a network for all those involved in the day to day running of data projects, who want to discuss common challenges and share examples of their work. They meet quarterly but have active discussions through LOTI’s Basecamp platform.
  • Data Scientists – a network for data scientists and analysts learning to code. They meet monthly.

To find out more about our work on data skills and capacity, please contact LOTI’s Jay Saggar.



LOTI outcomes-based methodology for data projects

LOTI's outcomes-based methodology for data projects, which focuses on identifying the role data can play in delivering real-world outcomes.

Data Quality: Why it Matters and How to Improve It

A guide to help councils have better conversations about data quality, why it matters, and how to improve it.

Project Timeline


8 things senior leaders can do to help their organisations use data

This video explains what role senior leadership teams can play to ensure that data is used to its full value in London boroughs.

Data Skills Capacity


Data Skills Capacity Discovery

LOTI conducted a discovery into how boroughs can access more data talent, given the challenges of recruiting for data roles. We ran a survey with LOTI data staff and hosted an ideation workshop. We’re now working on forming a LOTI Data Academy, hosting a data careers day, and creating a guide to recruiting for hard-to-fill roles.

Reflections on the ONS bootcamp.

15 data professionals from across LOTI boroughs took part in a 12 week data science BootCamp run by the Office for National Statistics. Read a full account of what the programme involved and what we learned from it here.

LOTI And ONS Data Science Bootcamp


LOTI & ONS launch Data Science Bootcamp

LOTI, in collaboration with the Office of National Statistics (ONS) Data Science Campus and GLA, launch a Data Science Bootcamp to develop the capability and skills of officers and provide practical demonstrations of the value of data science within London local government.

15 Successful participants selected

LOTI, in collaboration with the Office of National Statistics (ONS) Data Science Campus are developing a Data Science Bootcamp for officers in London local government. The list of the 15 successful applicants who secured a place on the pilot cohort is available here.

Pilot cohort - LOTI & ONS


Overview of LOTI’s Outcomes-Based Data Methodology

This video provides an overview of LOTI’s Outcomes-Based Methodology for Data Projects. It explains how you can tell if data can play a useful role in achieving a particular outcome or tackling a specific problem.


COVID-19: Borough Challenges with PHE and NHS datasets

LOTI collated concerns expressed by LOTI Data Managers on challenges they faced with multiple datasets and worked with colleagues in Public Health England (PHE) and NHS Digital to resolve these issues.

COVID 19 Data Issues


LOTI Data Science Network Meet-Ups

Monthly meet-ups for data scientists (and analysts learning to code) from London boroughs to share approaches, build collaborative resources and get training on specific data science techniques.

Data Managers’ Network Meet-Ups

In response to the pandemic, LOTI created regular meet-ups for Data analysts and managers from local authorities in London. This is an opportunity to come together to share what tools and approaches they’re using to support residents during recovery. The full playlist is available here.

Project Kick-off

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