Transformation Directorate

Key updates

AphA and HSJ join forces to champion importance of health analytics

HSJ and AphA (Association of Professional Healthcare Analysts) have launched a strategic partnership to increase awareness of the vital role of health analytics and analysts.

Building on HSJ’s legacy of working closely with NHS senior leadership, and AphA’s sector expertise as the recognised professional body for Analytical professionals, the two organisations will work closely together to improve the quality and ubiquity of data-driven decision making across the NHS.

The initiative’s flagship will be the HSJ/AphA Data and Analytics Congress and Awards, which will be held in November 2023. The partnership’s work will be supported by a series of editorials, newsletters, and webinars.

Speaking about the partnership, AphA Chief Executive Officer Rony Arafin said: “AphA is delighted to be a strategic partner of HSJ to champion the importance of health analytics in improving healthcare and wellbeing. HSJ knows that asking the right question is crucial to getting the best answers. The same is true of data and to do that the Health and Care services need a more sophisticated understanding of what data can do and to be much closer to professional analysts who can release its potential. Our partnership with HSJ is designed to help NHS understand how to make its data work for better health and care outcomes.”

AphA President Andi Orlowski added: “AphA’s partnership with HSJ is designed to help the NHS and other Health and Care organisations make the best use of two misunderstood and underused assets, its vast data resources and its professional health analysts. Using these two valuable resources to best effect will have fundamental positive impact on care, outcomes, health and care services and population health. We are delighted to have a champion and strategic partner for this work in HSJ.”

HSJ editor Alastair McLellan said: “Every important aspect of the NHS’s work is informed – or at least should be – by data. The wealth of data available to the NHS as a coherent national system is one of its greatest advantages, and the analytical tools and expertise now available to the service mean that advantage can be exploited as never before.

“However, the informed use of data is too often undermined by the poor understanding of how it should be best interpreted, and the sideling of those best equipped to do that job. Through our partnership with AphA, we hope to help educate healthcare leaders to use data more effectively in their decision-making, and to champion those analysts who can best help the service improve.”

First National Analytics Conference for Health and Care Analytics

Health and Care Analytics Conference 2023 header

As part of the commitment to develop a professionalised 21st century analytics workforce in health and care we are delighted to announce the first ever national analytics conference for the NHS and care sector.

Health and Care Analytics 2023, 11-12 July, University of Birmingham 

At Health and Care Analytics 2023 we are turning analysts into influencers, shining a spotlight on the importance of our work and how we’re using analytics to lead the way in improving health and care for all.

The conference aims to promote the best of analytics in health and care as undertaken by analyst teams working in the sector. Successful applicants will join a packed programme of expert speakers and exhibitors, including conference co-chairs Professor Ben Goldacre and Professor Mohammed A Mohammed. The ‘best of analytics’ includes the following characteristics and these will drive our selection of contributors and contributions:

  • Addresses key strategic and operational issues.
  • Provides valuable insight.
  • Supports better decision making.
  • Supports improvement in services.
  • Is generalisable and so merits wider dissemination and scaling up.
  • Demonstrates the best approaches to managing and deploying data and analyses to best effect.

The conference is by the NHS for the NHS and is aimed at advancing analysts, analytics and professionalisation of analysts across the health and care sector in the

Have you done some excellent work that you want to share with analysts across health and care? Tell us about it now and you could be featured as part of our exciting and inspirational programme at the first ever national Health and Care Analytics Conference, this July.

All you need to do is submit an abstract of your work and you could be invited to join our packed programme of expert speakers and exhibitors. Submissions are open now, and the closing date for abstracts is March 27.

If you would like to attend registration is now open.

Don’t forget to follow the conference on Twitter and LinkedIn for all the latest news and updates.

Digital Workforce Podcast

The Digital Workforce Team have published a podcast that looks at the digital workforce across the NHS, the challenges faced and the upcoming Digital Workforce Plan - due to be published Spring 2023 - that will address these challenges and lay out the key priorities for narrowing the skills gap for the digital, data, technology and informatics workforce in health and care.

The podcast panel includes:

  • Yinka Makinde, Director of Digital Workforce at NHS England
  • James Freed, CDIO at Health Education England
  • Aasha Cowey, System Transformation Lead for Surrey and Borders Partnership

They provide an engaging and informed conversation around ideas fundamental to the success of the Plan and the need to shift ways of working that are more outcome focused, with strong relationships, at every level, supporting organisations on a more sustainable journey.

You may also be interested in our Accelerated Design Event on 1 March where you’re invited to have your say on the Digital Workforce Plan. More details on this and the work of the team can be found by signing up to the Digital Workforce pages on FutureNHS.

National Competency Framework - Beta Phase 3

NCF Logo

After a very busy 2022, the development of the National Competency Framework (NCF) has moved into the last stage of revision and expansion.

The framework is a single structure for data professionals across the whole Health and Care system and will help us move towards greater professionalisation of the data and analytics service. It will also help us to agree a national standard of what ‘good’ looks like at every career stage for people who work in this area.

All phases of development so far have been a collaborative exercise, drawing on expertise from around the system. Most recently we have been onsite testing of the framework in 44 organisations around the country, with over 170 data professionals onboarded to using the framework for day to day activities. More details

Phase 3 is taking the learning from the onsite testing and applying it in three workstreams:

  1. Expanding the framework to include new modules for Leadership & Management, Project Management, and Behaviours
  2. Developing an ‘Implementation Plan’ for national rollout across Health and Care organisations
  3. Developing an ‘Online Tool’ for the framework, to include the competencies, self-assessment and links to development

As always, we are reaching out to our Health and Care colleagues to support the new phase of the programme. We are running multiple working groups that require SME support:

  • Leadership & Management starting Mon 23rd Jan 2023 contact Huw Davies
  • Project Management starting Mon 23rd Jan 2023 contact Huw Davies
  • Behaviour starting Mon 23rd Jan 2023 contact Huw Davies
  • Technical (online tool) starting Feb 2023 contact Andy Lavelle
  • Implementation planning starting Feb 2023 contact Sarah Blundell

Please do get in touch if you have any questions about the NCF or would like any more information about any of the working groups.

AnalystX Observatory State of the Nation 2022 Key Findings report

The AnalystX Observatory State of the Nation 2022 Key Findings report is now published.

Following the Data Saves Lives publication, AnalystX Observatory conducted a State of the Nation survey so that we can, for the first time, paint a national picture on data and analytical professional teams.

The aim of the survey was to:

  • understand the data professional workforce in the health and care sector
  • retain and grow expertise
  • increase professionalism within data and analytics
  • help plan for the future

Headlines from the report

  • There are around 13,025 data professionals working in the health and care sector in the UK
  • Average size of data teams range from 1 to 21 employees (average of 11)
  • Pay grade bandings follow a similar distribution pattern across local, regional and national teams. Band 7 is the height of this distribution
  • Average tenure in a team of a data professional is 2-4 years
  • Recruitment is an issue especially for grades 6 and 7
  • Vacancies are distributed throughout organisation types and areas of England.

Updated 7 December 2022

Competency framework live testing workshops

You may have already heard about the Alpha stage of the framework's development, attended the AnalystX Huddle, or listened to the Fika podcast featuring Rony Arafin as he discussed professionalisation and competency framework.

The framework is a single structure for data professionals across the whole system and will help us move towards greater professionalisation of the data and analytics service. It will also help us to agree a national standard of what ‘good’ looks like at every career stage for people who work in this area.

We are now at the stage where we have tested the framework live over the coming months with around 170 testers based in over 40 organisations to make sure it is robust, relevant and realistic to those who work in the field and to organisations across the health and care sector.

Taking part in the NHS England programme are Trusts, ICBs, national NHS organisations and local government, testing the framework in real-time to make sure it works well on the ground. With over 13,000 data and analytics professionals across the sector it’s vital that we understand what teams do and support them as people, as a workforce and as a wider profession.

If you have any questions or would like any more information, please email

National Competency Framework for health and care data community

The Association of Professional Healthcare Analysts (AphA) was commissioned by NHSX to develop and test

the Alpha phase of the development of a national competency framework for data in health and care.

The Alpha stage programme evaluation report is now available to download.

A booklet is also available to download, which has been developed to guide you through a defined set of core competencies for data professionals in health and care.

Goldacre Review

Goldacre Review is in response to the Goldacre et al paper on Bringing NHS data analysis into the 21st century the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has asked Dr Ben Goldacre to carry out a new review focusing on the more efficient and safe use of health data for research and analysis for the benefit of patients and the healthcare sector.


Added on 25 November 2021

Data Saves Lives: Reshaping Health and Social Care with Data

The draft Data Strategy "Data Saves Lives: Reshaping Health and Social Care with Data" sets out the vision and a clear action plan to make better use of data to save lives.

Added on 25 November 2021

Related Pages