Cross-Government and Public Sector Data Science Community

Latest news

Updated on 09 January 2024

We are currently working on our programme of meetups for the year. If you have a project, tool or technique you would like to share with a large and engaged audience of public sector data scientists, please get in touch

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About the Data Science Community

The Data Science Community exists to:

  • bring together data scientists and analysts to build data science capability across UK government and the public sector
  • enable knowledge sharing and networking
  • promote cross-organisational learning and collaboration at all levels
  • increase the use of data science across government and the public sector through sharing best practice in data science and artificial intelligence

You can read more about our objectives and values on our community charter.

Being a part of the Data Science Community

The data science community is aimed at:

  • analysts and data scientists across UK government and the public sector
  • public sector workers interested in data science tools, techniques, and practices
  • other interested colleagues

You might be interested in this community if your work involves:

  • making sure decisions are based on evidence
  • presenting insights in an understandable way to both technical and non-technical audiences
  • building statistical models from data and using coding best practices to generate reproducible work
  • commissioning data science projects
  • working with policy and operations to understand where data science can improve services for users
  • exploring new data science technologies, tools, and algorithms
  • deploying data science at scale

How you can get involved

There are many ways to engage with the community, and you can tailor your level of involvement according to your needs.

Cross-government data science Slack

The community Slack channel is a great place to connect with fellow members of the community on a regular basis. To join the cross-government data science Slack, you will need to use your public sector email address.

Knowledge Hub group

The community Knowledge Hub group is where we host meeting slides and learning resources.

Monthly meetups

Our monthly Data Science Community of Interest meetups are incredibly popular and engaging. The meetups are an opportunity to learn from others in the community, network, and broaden your knowledge. You can come as an attendee or as a speaker at one of our meetups or other events.

Mailing list

To keep up to date with the latest news and events in the community, sign up to the community mailing list. We send out a monthly newsletter and encourage you to put forward content submissions.

Living Library

The Living Library is a library where the books are people. This is a great opportunity to connect and provide valuable mentorship and advice to a member of the community who is interested in your experience. If you are unsure of what this means in practice, email the Data Science Community team. You can also watch a video where our community manager explains the idea behind the Living Library.

The Living Library is hosted on the Community Knowledge hub, which you can join with your public sector email address. Fancy becoming a book in our Living Library? Fill out the expression of interest form.


If you are interested in specific areas of data science, we have many subcommunities you can join or lead.

Email the community team

If you have any questions, you can email the Data Science Community team, and we will do our best to help you.

Community events

We host regular events to showcase data science projects from across the public sector and encourage conversations about best practice in data science. As well as our regular meet-ups and conferences, we offer career workshops and project clinics on an ad hoc basis. 

Data Science Community of Interest meetups

Our meetups take place monthly and are open to all public servants who have an interest in data science. Each meetup follows a different theme, and we welcome speakers from across the public sector and academia.

Previous themes have included careers, local government, text data, and ethics.

If you would like to deliver a project show and tell or interactive session at one of our meetups, or are interested in supporting us organising them, please get in touch with the Data Science Community team.


We organise conferences to bring the community together to explore relevant themes and collaborate with adjacent networks.

You can read about our recent showcase here.


Subcommunities provide opportunities for members with a specific interest or specialism to network with their peers and go into more technical detail when they share knowledge. These are mostly communities of practice, which host interactive sessions and discussions. If you would like to lead a subcommunity, please get in touch with the Data Science Community team.

Text Data Subcommunity

The Text Data Subcommunity is a community of practice for data scientists across the public sector who have a particular interest in the use of text data and natural language processing (NLP) tools. Activities include capability-building and development of best practice guidance. The group meets every other Wednesday for updates from across the sector, show and tells, and lively discussions.

To join, please email

Local Government Subcommunity

The Data Science in Local Government subcommunity meets to support data scientists who work in a local government setting. Our meetings include project surgeries, panel discussions and show and tells.  

Other data communities

We support other public sector communities by promoting their events and collaborating with their organisers.

Data Ethics and Society Reading Group

The Data Ethics and Society Reading Group is a space for public sector colleagues to reflect on the ethical implication of their work in response to current research. You can join the #ethics Slack channel to get access to these sessions.

NHS-R Community

The NHS-R community supports the learning, application, and exploitation of R in the NHS.

NHS Python Community

The NHS Python Community for Healthcare champions the use of Python and open code in the NHS and healthcare sector.

Community videos

Watch our videos with information, news and testimonials about the Data Science Community.