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Equipping Analysts to Make Data Count

To develop a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) to provide analysts with a broad range of range of skills and knowledge to Make Data Count in its broadest sense

Read comments 5
  • Proposal
  • 2022

Meet the team


  • Neil Morgan (Head of BI Analytical Services, Midlands & Lancs CSU)
  • Pete Best (Head of Insight & Analytics, Norfolk & Waveney health and Care Partnership)
  • James Jarvis (Associate Director of Business Intelligence, Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust)
  • Stuart Leadley (Information Support Manager, Hull Uni Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust)

What is the challenge your project is going to address and how does it connect to the theme?

It is estimated that 10,000 analysts are employed within the NHS undertaking roles spanning data analyst to data scientist.  These individuals have a vital role to play in ensuring that the best decisions are made to improve patient care.  These decisions can include day to day decisions on how to plan elective recovery to strategic transformational programmes.

Currently, there is no consistent approach for professional development of analysts.  Historically, development opportunities have been limited, costly, and have varied significantly.  The recent creation of a national competency framework for analytics (commissioned by NHSX and delivered by AphA) provides a structured approach for the development of the analyst community.

This project has strong support from the analyst community and provides an opportunity to standardise development opportunities for analysts in health and social care.  It will enable the delivery of best practice analytic approaches at scale delivered via a robust digital e-learning platform.

What does your project aim to achieve?

This project aims to establish a framework for delivery of at scale training for analysts in health and social care (with the potential for utilisation by analysts across health and care systems).  This will be achieved by developing a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) which will be free for all analysts to access – regardless of their employer or geographic location.

The project will result in the development of a minimum of 20 modules and the establishment of a methodology for the creation of further content.  The MOOC will be hosted on the NHSEI e-learning platform.  Content will be CPD accredited and will span a wide range of topics structured into categories of fundamentals, intermediate and advanced – supporting ICS intelligence function development.

Upskilling analysts and providing them with tools to analyse data effectively will enable them to provide evidence-based insight. Identifying and addressing system challenges and health inequalities.

How will the project be delivered?

A Making Data Count analyst network has been in place for 18 months which has met virtually monthly.  The network has grown from a handful of people to a membership of 550. The proposal to develop a MOOC was presented to the network in December 2021.  This received strong support from members who participated in a slido poll to identify which topics should be developed as a priority.

A steering board (including network members) will oversee this project.  The content for a number of modules will be developed to by network members, whilst it will be necessary to commission other modules from elsewhere.

An evaluation plan will be developed to ensure that quantitative and qualitative information is obtained to shape the project and understand it’s impact.  Estimating that 2,000 analysts participate in the MOOC over the duration of this project, this would equate to a cost of £20 per head.

How is your project going to share learning?

Outputs from the project will be shared as work progresses and will consist of a variety of formats including youtube videos, engaging infographics reports and podcasts.  These will be notified to key networks and organisations including Q members, AphA, the Making Data Count analyst network, NHSX and updates provided via Twitter.

How you can contribute

  • We are keen to collaborate with interested individuals to explore how the MOOC can be best developed linking to complementary work which is underway or planned.
  • We are keen to hear from members who are expert in specific areas of analytics and would be willing to contribute to the development of modules.
  • We encourage Q members to promote this important project within their organisations and networks.

Plan timeline

3 Jul 2022 Formalise detailed project plan
1 Aug 2022 Soft launch module set 1 (test)
4 Sep 2022 Formal launch module set 1
3 Oct 2022 Commission additional content
7 Nov 2022 Soft launch module set 2 (test)
5 Dec 2022 Formal launch module set 2
6 Feb 2023 Soft launch module set 3
6 Mar 2023 Formal launch module set 3
1 May 2023 Soft launch module set 4
5 Jun 2023 Formal launch module set 4
7 Aug 2023 Soft launch module set 5
4 Sep 2023 Formal launch module set 5
2 Oct 2023 Commission additional content
4 Dec 2023 Develop evaluation plan
1 Jan 2024 Soft launch module set 6
5 Feb 2024 Formal launch module set 6
6 May 2024 Soft launch module set 7
3 Jun 2024 Formal launch module set 7
1 Jul 2024 Evaluation


  1. Great idea and super ambition.

    Delighted to help if we can from the Irish QPS intelligence team.

    Would be super to see how you can/do link this in to the Making Data Count at Board level work as the support and drive to do this work from the top down as well as bottom up will hopefully enable greater change.

  2. Hi Samantha,

    I'll be honest.  I think this is definitely needed.  I've been to one of the fact to face days pre-covid and it was fast paced.  I definitely think follow-up resources additional to what are available in PDF format would be really helpful for folk; something to go back to time and time again.

    Best of luck with the application!

  3. I am interested in finding out more about how you will evaluate this - "quantitative and qualitative information [will be] obtained to shape the project and understand it’s impact" - our idea is very much focussed on the evaluation end of delivering the education and ensuring this is as robust as possible, forward thinking, and can involve stakeholders - maybe we could join forces on sharing ideas - your education program is very extensive so evaluation will be extremely important to demonstrate impact (and sustained impact.) If you have any comments for us on our idea I would be most grateful!



    This would be brilliant, so needed. We all know that this is the way to go, but struggling to gain traction. If you need a test site, I'm waving (and I can bake...)

    Thanks for putting this in


  5. I think that us medics forget the positive impact on structured progressive ePortfolios that evidence and support learning and progression.

    I wonder whether a mirror or mapping exercise against Specialty Training portfolio based progression might make the language we use follow a standard base?! Happy to give you a spin on my old completed portfolio to become a consultant if that would be helpful!

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