Data Science Competency Framework and its Development Planning Tool

Data Science Competency Framework and its Development Planning Tool

While various competency frameworks exist in relation to Information Technology, the needs of the evolving Data Science and Analytics field were previously undefined by the Data Science community. After identifying this gap, Data to Decisions CRC (D2D)   embarked on a project to create a generic data competency framework. By describing the skills, knowledge, experience and personal attributes relevant to working in data science/analytics, the framework aimed to support the development of a sustainable Big Data workforce in Australia.

Thus, D2D developed the Data Science Competency Framework (DSCF) and associated Development Planning Tool (DPT) . When D2D’s contract came to an end in July 2019, the CRC relinquished the IP as well as the maintenance and management of the DSCF and DPT to Data61.

The framework describes 3 job families (Data Scientist, Data Analyst, Data Engineer) at 4 different maturity levels (practitioner, senior, lead and director) and contains three key competency areas (Solution Life Cycle of Data, Technical and Core), each holding relevant competencies (20 in total). In particular, the framework can be utilised to support workforce planning and recruitment, to develop individuals and teams, to highlight career pathways and to enable competency recognition.

The Development Planning Tool is a web-based application where users can rate their current skills against those same industry benchmarks, identify areas of development, and use this information to prepare for personal development conversations with their managers. The tool also provides suggestions for development (including training courses) when the results differ from the expected level, as well as a congregated team report for managers.

The tool has been built with security best practices in mind. It utilises SSL technology to encrypt all communication between the user and server. Encrypting names to preserve anonymity. The tool does not store names. The person’s email address is the only personally identifiable information. Team reports are anonymised and only accessible from 10 users onward.

The outputs from this project will help deliver CSIRO’s Data61’s goal of better trained data scientists, and is strongly aligned with the D61 strategic plan Objective 7 – Digital Thought Leadership: By 30 June 2020, Data61 is partnering with others in science and technology, industry and government to enhance the digital literacy of Australia’s leaders and to accelerate the creation and adoption of digital and data science and technology outcomes across Australian industry and government.

Data61 is leveraging and commercialising the inherited Data to Decisions CRC (D2D CRC) asset the Data Science Competency Framework and its Development Planning Tool, including organising pilots for both private and public sector.

The Development Planning Tool has also been rebranded for CSIRO and D61 usage. For more information or request a trial please contact