In the UK, a group of industry bodies have set up 'The Alliance for Data Science Professionals', to create new industry-wide professional standards for data science. The group aims to give the public, organisations and governments confidence in how their data is used.
According to the founding members, while the skills of data scientists are increasingly in demand, there is currently no professional framework for those working in the field. Members of the new initiative are the Royal Statistical Society (RSS), BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, the Operational Research Society, the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, The Alan Turing Institute and the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) - supported by the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society.
The alliance's new industry-wide standards, which will be finalised by the Autumn, seek to address current issues such as data breaches, the misuse of data in modelling and bias in artificial intelligence. Since convening, the Alliance has worked with volunteers and stakeholders to develop draft standards for individuals, standards for universities seeking accreditation of their courses and a certification process that will enable both individuals and education providers to gain recognition based on skills and knowledge within data science.
Stian Westlake (pictured), CEO of the Royal Statistical Society, said: 'Data science can be a powerful tool for businesses and governments. But just like established fields like engineering or medicine, it needs good standards to ensure it is used wisely and well. The Alliance will play an important role in setting standards for those working in data science to help organisations make the most of cutting-edge new approaches, and so that we can all have confidence that our data is in good hands'.
The memorandum of understanding (signed on earlier today) can be found at: www.bcs.org/media/7536/alliance-data-science-mou.pdf .
All articles 2006-22 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas unless otherwise stated.