As the professional body for statisticians and data scientists, the Royal Statistical Society has always encouraged members to give their time and skills for public good and charitable causes. The Statisticians for Society initiative was launched in 2014, to help statisticians offer their skills to charities and other socially useful initiatives that need their professional expertise. Since its launch we have facilitated the initiative and delivered volunteering opportunities to our members across the UK and overseas by partnering with other organisations.
With support from the Big Lottery Fund, the Society is now looking to further develop the initiative and strengthen pro bono services within the profession. The pilot scheme will aim to support third sector organisations in need of data and analytical support. The Society will actively match charities with the skills and expertise of volunteers from the RSS membership at no cost.
How statisticians can help third sector organisations
Many third sector organisations are keen to explore the use of data for decision making and service improvements. There is a growing need for them to provide evidence of their impact, but due to lack of capacity and appropriate skills needed for data analysis, some charities are unable to fully demonstrate the value of their work.
This is where we could help. As one of the leading voices for promoting the importance of data and evidence, we would like to see more statisticians helping charities in making a difference. Our volunteers can provide the tools and guidance for undertaking data analysis. Statisticians collect, analyse and interpret data across a wide range of industries and topics. They are skilled at designing methods for collecting data and regularly tasked with analysing data to spot patterns and trends. They can manipulate data to identify relationships and make future predictions. Following this, they produce reports and summaries which communicate their findings.