Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Parliament Street, London

The DCMS headquarters, London.

Drive growth, enrich lives and promote Britain to the world

In DCMS we are lucky enough to work on some of the most exciting, positive and important policies for the future of the UK. We are here to drive growth and enrich lives and at this moment in time our role is more important than ever.

DCMS drives growth across the UK. We provide the digital infrastructure to boost productivity and harness the power of digital and data across the economy, helping to make the UK a scientific and tech superpower. We support the fastest growing and most innovative sectors of our economy such as digital and tech, media and creative. We help sustain and promote the valuable jobs created in areas like culture, tourism and broadband.

DCMS enriches lives all over the UK. Much of our work involves the things that people up and down the country love, that bring happiness. They also help strengthen communities, and ‘level up’ access to opportunity from supporting the voluntary and community sector to greater participation in sport, culture and creativity.

Operational Research at DCMS

We have roughly 20 GORS analysts at DCMS based primarily in London, but also in our Manchester HQ. GORS analysts are mainly working in telecoms (Digital Infrastructure and Building Digital UK), but have a growing presence across the department including the Central Analysis Team, Strategy and Data Policy.

Examples of key OR projects

Digital infrastructure
A mixture of analysts providing modelling and other analytical support for the development of a wide range of telecoms policies.
  • Sophisticated, granular, geospatial modelling of fixed and mobile broadband deployment costs and intervention requirements
  • Forecasting of future fixed and mobile broadband coverage
  • Developing interactive tools to allow policy colleagues to explore our rich datasets
Building Digital UK (BDUK)
BDUK is an executive agency of DCMS and is a world class telecoms delivery agency, with a clear mission: to ensure that every UK home and business can access fast and reliable digital connectivity.
  • Using data analysis to evaluate the effectiveness of past & current BDUK programmes, to enable us to prove their worth to HM Treasury.
  • Forecasting budgets of different BDUK programmes.
  • Decision support for the programmes - pulling together data from a variety of different sources to enable decision-makers to implement programmes in an evidence-based way - especially dealing with problems unique to each county in the country.
  • Mapping and dashboarding, to allow non-analyst customers to get insights from the data themselves.
  • Developing the Network Routing Model, a minimum spanning tree model that is used to estimate the distance of fibre needed to connect up new premises, and so estimate costs of interventions.
Central Analysis Team
The teams that make up CAT are multi-disciplinary and comprise analysts from all of the professions performing cross-cutting work. Recent areas relevant to OR include:
  • Modelling the number of individuals who would have been affected by COVID certification policy - and the resultant lateral flow test demand or reduction in event attendance.
  • Retrospective analysis of multiple data streams to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on DCMS sectors.
  • Understanding the quality and usership of cultural and heritage assets in England to enrich existing data science work on the accessibility of culture by using record linkage between administrative data and user-generated web data.
  • Mapping exercises to understand the distribution of resources dedicated to cross-cutting functions in directorates, with a view towards organisational change.
Data Policy
This team is also multidisciplinary, comprising analysts from all of the professions. Some of the particular work OR analysts have been involved in include:
  • Production and analysis of the UK Business Data Survey (Official Statistics), including development of pipeline.
  • Modelling the impact of changes to the legal mechanisms used to transfer personal data internationally.
  • Research into the dependency of the economy on data-sharing, and developing methods for measuring the economic and social value of data and data flows.
  • Building a monitoring and evaluation workflow to assess the impact of future data reforms and the implementation of the National Data Strategy.