Data Science and Data Visualisation Accelerator

Latest News

Updated: 14 Jun 2024

The Data Science Campus will no longer be running the Accelerator programme. If you require further information or are considering running a similar programme, please contact the Data Science Campus.

About the Accelerator

The Accelerator was a skills-building mentoring programme that has given analysts from across the public sector the opportunity to develop their data science or data visualisation skills. Since 2015, the programme supported more than 450 public sector analysts from over 100 organisations to build data science skills through a wide range of projects.

The Data Visualisation Accelerator programme runs alongside the Data Science Accelerator. It launched in June 2021 after an increasing demand for data visualisation mentoring.

The programmes were delivered by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Data Science Campus and was open to UK public sector employees, including central and local government.

Benefits of the Accelerator

The Accelerator programmes provided participants an opportunity to

  • learn new skills
  • connect with peers
  • gain new career prospects
  • embed data science skills in your organisation

Accelerator Spring 2024 cohort

The final Accelerator programme began on the 2 May 2024 and finishes on 18 July 2024.

Programme startThursday 02 May 2024
Programme endThursday 18 July 2024
Application windowTuesday 2 Jan to Thursday 1 Feb 2024

Who can apply

UK public sector staff, including central and local government, currently in analytical roles, with an interest in developing data science and data visualisation skills.

Entry requirements

Coding experience is not essential prior to application. The programme is entry-level and open to public sector employees with good analytical experience. We request that all successful participants without coding experience complete an ‘Intro to R’ or ‘Intro to Python’ self-study course before starting the programme.

Your line manager and a senior manager (usually a Head of Profession or equivalent) must agree that

  • your project tackles a current issue in your business area
  • you have access to the data you’ll need for your project
  • you can spend one day per week for three months working on your project

Delivery of the programme

The Accelerator has been delivered as a remote mentoring programme.

Participants will:

  • work on a data science or data visualisation project, chosen by you, over three months
  • commit to spending one day a week on your project, which forms your protected time (an important benefit of the programme)
  • be assigned a mentor with experience in data science or data visualisation for the duration of your project. You will agree your project schedule with them and benefit from peer support from other participants in your cohort
  • have the opportunity to experiment with different data science and data visualisation techniques and open-source software


Here is what some of our previous participants in the programme have to say:

Kenneth Quan, NHS Digital:

“My project was to develop an API to provide journey information for patients who are likely to miss their hospital appointments. The programme helped me to learn new skills in R and web scraping whilst supporting my organisation’s business needs, and I am now using these skills for other projects at NHS Digital. I also had opportunities to talk to colleagues across the civil service and arm’s length bodies, and understand how they work with projects and technologies. The knowledge has given me new opportunities in the field of data science in the public sector.”

Anthony Foster, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC):

“I found the Accelerator hugely beneficial. I had a highly skilled mentor who helped me work through the project in logical steps, and suggested resources to explore when I needed to learn underpinning concepts. I enjoyed the protected on-time learning and applying that knowledge directly to the problem, rather than lecture style training. The accelerator is a highly practical approach to learning new skills, and the more effort I put in, the more benefit I got out. I’d highly recommend the programme to anyone that is passionate about analytics and is looking for a first step into understanding data science.”

Other participants have shared their Accelerator experiences on the Data Science Accelerator and Data Visualisation Accelerator.

How to apply

Participants will need to submit:

  • a project proposal
  • an explanation of what you hope to gain from taking part in the Accelerator
  • a statement of support from your line manager, Head of Profession or equivalent

If you require further information or are considering running a similar programme, please contact the Data Science Campus.