HSCIC looking to build Big Data team

health data
“Huge potential for the application of data science”

A planned new Centre of Excellence in Big Data and data science is to be opened - with active steps being taken to find a leader to run it

[London, UK] The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) has confirmed it is looking to recruit a Director for a planned new Centre of Excellence in Big Data and data science.

HSCIC told us today that an appointment has not yet been made - but that it is in discussions with a candidate “at the moment”.

Once appointed, this individual will have an exciting remit - to lead the NHS’ work in exploring what the Centre sees as “huge potential for the application of data science”.

Focused on data science

Recent advances in the capability and cost of data technologies, and increasing moves to digital government, had led the government to push for concrete work in the area.

In 2014, it established a Data Science Programme to speed up the use of data science in government policy making and service delivery, and last year Whitehall was asked to build on the work of the Programme by producing departmental ‘Data Science Action Plans’ to embed data science approaches in public services, including healthcare.

HSCIC says it’s engaged with this initiative and is now working with the Department of Health and the Cabinet Office to establish a Directorate, focused on data science.

This body will be led by a new Director, but won’t go online until this leader is confirmed, it adds: “At that point, the Director will then be responsible for building a function that will embed data science approaches and support the Data Science Programme.”

The Centre told the British Journal of Healthcare Computing that a proposed objective for this Director will be to design a Centre of Excellence for Big Data & Data Science to support the Capability Building theme the government is looking for in Big Data/data science.