Beginning next month, Heather will focus her attention on her work with the United Nations Global Working Group on Big Data for Official Statistics (GWG), with the continued support of the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Heather has been involved in this work since 2016 when she was invited to lead a Task Team considering emerging technologies for the use of Big Data, with a focus on enabling the delivery of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Since becoming Co-Chair of the GWG in 2016, alongside her role as Director General for Data Capability at ONS, Heather has represented the ONS at an international level as it seeks to collaborate and partner across the statistical community to develop effective solutions to the challenges facing the world today.

To help achieve its mission of harnessing the power of data for better lives, the GWG is developing the UN Global Platform as a collaborative environment for the global statistical community to work together actively sharing knowledge, data and methods. Heather is particularly passionate about this important work and is looking forward to focusing her time, attention and efforts on supporting the United Nations in the development of this Global Platform to deliver tangible and visible public good. The Platform builds on best practices of public and private Big Data initiatives and will aim to provide a global hub for official statisticians, data scientists and domain experts across all sectors to work collaboratively.

National Statistician John Pullinger said:

“Heather has brought great energy and determination to her role as Deputy National Statistician and Director General for Data Capability and I know she will continue to bring that commitment to the UN Global Platform. This project is at the heart of the global ambition to mobilise the power of data.

“Heather leaves ONS digital and data capability in a radically better place than it was four years ago, including through the Data Science Campus, Data Access Platform, Security Strategy, Secure Research Service and other associated infrastructures, policies and services.

“The organisation is now well placed to reap the rewards in the years ahead. Heather will be missed by many colleagues across the Office and I am sure they will join me in wishing her well for the future.”

Heather Savory said:

“Our partnership with the UN on the Global Platform has enabled us to trial some of the innovative technologies we have built into our own, new, ONS systems. I want to help build on what has been achieved to-date here, to achieve ‘critical mass’ and give the Global Platform a life of its own for the future. Through this work we will support decision makers across the world with good data to help inform their solutions to the challenges of our world today.

“Over the past four years here at ONS, I have worked with an incredible team to bring about digital and data transformation. I’m enormously proud of what we have achieved during this time. We’ve taken the ONS forward to a place where we are now widely recognised as being at the forefront of digital and data transformation, and statistical modernisation.”

“I would like to express my sincere gratitude and thanks to everyone who has contributed to this transformation. I have been incredibly privileged to lead a superb team and work with fantastic colleagues at the ONS, across government and experts in other sectors.”