Head of Statistics

Please Note: The application deadline for this job has now passed.

Job Introduction

The Visual Journalism team is a multi award-winning group within BBC News. The team brings together online designers, TV designers, developers and journalists to provide compelling visual coverage of the biggest and most significant stories.  We also lead BBC News’s Data Journalism projects and are looking to expand our output and make truly original and impactful content.

We use our skill and creativity to engage and inform our audiences using information graphics, data visualisations, motion graphics and multimedia storytelling .

We are now looking for a Head of Statistics who understands important statistical techniques but is also passionate about helping BBC News to better tell stories that contain numbers and data.

The role will have two purposes. Firstly the post holder will act as a consultant to BBC journalists from across the News division, advising them on the correct use and framing of statistics in their output.  Secondly, the post holder will work closely with the Data Team within Visual Journalism on stories where complex statistical analysis is needed employing complex statistical data analysis techniques, including hypothesis testing, regression, Bayesian modelling and time series analysis.

You may be required to write articles for the web or appear on BBC News broadcast output.

Role Responsibility

  • To explain, advise and clearly communicate  the best use of statistics in stories and  to a wide range of journalists from a non-statistical background.
  • To build meaningful external partnerships  as the BBC’s representative with government departments where appropriate,  as well as the Office for National Statistics and the Royal Statistical Society and other relevant bodies.
  • To explore stories and data trends using statistical tools.
  • To devise training for journalists on best practice with statistics
  • To line manage two grade 8 data scientists in the Visual Journalism team . 
  • To manage the budgets for any large pieces of statistical analysis and research that the Visual Journalism team undertake, and for the development of training resources for BBC Journalists around statistics.

The Ideal Candidate

Required Experience

  • A higher education qualification in statistics or similar, (for example, Msc or Phd)
  • Demonstrable experience working in industry or academia
  • An excellent  understanding of statistics and statistical analysis, including data management and how to clean, parse, query and store data  
  • Knowledge of software such as R, SQL, SPSS & Matlab
  • Ability to work under pressure to tight deadlines
  • A keen interest in news and current affairs

Desired Experience

  • Knowledge of Excel, Python & Tableau
  • A good understanding of data visualization
  • Experience of working with open public data
  • Experience working in a newsroom
  • Experience of processing data gathered under Freedom of Information
  • Knowledge of text mining techniques

Package Description

Grade: 10D

Contract: Continuing

Reports to : Head of Visual and Data Journalism

Department: Visual Journalism, BBC News Mobile and Online


About the Company

We don’t focus simply on what we do – we also care how we do it. Our values and the way we behave are important to us. Please make sure you’ve read about our values and behaviours in the document attached below. You’ll be asked questions relating to them as part of your application for this role.

The BBC is committed to building a culturally diverse workforce and therefore strongly encourages applications from underrepresented groups.  We are committed to equality of opportunity and welcome applications from individuals, regardless of their background

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