Spending by Bank of England data scientists increased by more than 300% during Covid – Reuters

The Bank of England (BoE), the UK’s central bank, saw its payroll quadruple after the Covid-19 hit, splashing data staff to oversee data operations involving Covid loans.

The data, retrieved via the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act and analyzed by the Parliament Street think tank, revealed the number of scientists and data analysts employed by the Bank of England, as well as the total payroll for these roles each year between 2017 and 2021. In total over the period, the bank spent a total of £2,994,785 on data scientist and data analyst roles.

The biggest increase came between 2019 and 2020, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, when the BoE’s total payroll for data scientists rose from £224,579 to £914,472, an increase by 307%. While during this year, spending by data analysts also rose sharply, from £195,031 to £474,303.

Before the pandemic, the Bank of England employed “fewer than 10” data scientists and “fewer than 10” data analysts, before a hiring drive saw staff numbers rise to 21 and 14 respectively.

The Bank of England has emphasized that the role of its data staff is to inform strategic policy, explain key discrepancies and trends, and resolve complex data issues.

There has been a sharp drop in the number of employees specifically employed in data scientist and data analyst roles in 2021, which the Bank of England attributes to “a shift in job titles”.

Analyst expert Neil Parker, Laiye’s Managing Director EMEA, comments: “With a vital role to play at the center of the UK financial system and a staff of over 4,000, the BoE is right to invest heavily in technology. analytics and automation to accelerate operations and equip staff with the information they need to operate effectively. As we emerge from the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic, organizations in the financial services industry have a huge opportunity to transform their business models, overhaul manual processes and eliminate repetitive tasks that drain resources and time. labor energy. With the right automation systems in place, organizations like the BoE can empower staff to focus on frontline tasks, improve customer service and build a more efficient organization.

Sean N. Ayres