New UK data centre opens as part of £17m investment

A new UK data centre aims to better inform decisions in sustainability and a range of other areas.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has opened the Data Science Campus in Newport as part of a £17m investment in statistics announced last year.

The site will use new data sources and technologies to provide richer real-time statistics for policymakers and businesses about the fast moving UK green sector and wider economy, while also helping to improve information flows for social, urban and rural and global UK issues.

The Data Science Campus will work with national and international partners from academia, government and business to deliver joint research programmes and to build UK data science capability, including providing funding opportunities for PhD candidates.

As part of this, the ONS set up the first UK Data Analytics apprenticeship scheme and is planning more opportunities to train people in decision-making skills.

The Republic of Argentina and the International Energy Agency have agreed to increase their co-operation with a new bilateral programme on energy statistics.

Tom Smith, ONS campus managing director, is excited about what the opening of this data centre could mean for the future of statistics.

"It will help us provide faster statistics to understand employment, inflation measures, the economy and the society in general using new types of data and new techniques to analyse them,” he said.

"We are proud to have recruited the UK's first data-analytics apprentices and, working with academia and business, we are planning more opportunities to train people in these skills that are so important for the UK's decision-makers.”

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