What does a government Policy Officer job role involve, if it's not data analysis?

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Fruli
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#1
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I have recently seen this policy officer job being advertised:

https://www.suffolkjobsdirect.org/po...icer/59132.job. I'm kind of interested in applying because I have an interest in politics and social issues. I also have a strong background in research and stats.

I've contacted the recruiting manager to ask more about the role. I expected that this will be a very analytical role and was surprised to hear from here that there's no quantitative analysis involved.

She said the role largely involves gathering data from various sources and informing local government policy. It all sounds a bit abstract to me, especially when considering that there's no quantitative data involved. How does one create policy and make reliable decisions without quantitative information? My conversation with her has put me off from applying.

I was wondering if there are any local government policy officers on TSR who might be able to enlighten me on the types of activities they would do on a day to day.
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999tigger
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(Original post by Fruli)
I have recently seen this policy officer job being advertised:

https://www.suffolkjobsdirect.org/po...icer/59132.job. I'm kind of interested in applying because I have an interest in politics and social issues. I also have a strong background in research and stats.

I've contacted the recruiting manager to ask more about the role. I expected that this will be a very analytical role and was surprised to hear from here that there's no quantitative analysis involved.

She said the role largely involves gathering data from various sources and informing local government policy. It all sounds a bit abstract to me, especially when considering that there's no quantitative data involved. How does one create policy and make reliable decisions without quantitative information? My conversation with her has put me off from applying.

I was wondering if there are any local government policy officers on TSR who might be able to enlighten me on the types of activities they would do on a day to day.
Its more like an analyst adviser role. Don't see how it is abstract? Sounds very practical to me. You will look at data, but consider other information as well. Just get the job description and that will meet your needs. I would have thought it would suit a lawyer or business graduate.
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Fruli
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(Original post by 999tigger)
Its more like an analyst adviser role. Don't see how it is abstract? Sounds very practical to me. You will look at data, but consider other information as well. Just get the job description and that will meet your needs. I would have thought it would suit a lawyer or business graduate.
Okay, I get you. I think I'm coming from a more technical mindset, where I have been used to the number crunching, whereas this is more about analysing interpreting the secondary sources of information.
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Speckle
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At least in government policy roles you would be working with economists who handle most of the analytical side. I suspect at the local level there is a wide range of some areas where they may have people like you trying to make informed decisions whilst others are more finger in the air and pulling mostly from what other local authorities have done.
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by Fruli)
I have recently seen this policy officer job being advertised:

https://www.suffolkjobsdirect.org/po...icer/59132.job. I'm kind of interested in applying because I have an interest in politics and social issues. I also have a strong background in research and stats.

I've contacted the recruiting manager to ask more about the role. I expected that this will be a very analytical role and was surprised to hear from here that there's no quantitative analysis involved.

She said the role largely involves gathering data from various sources and informing local government policy. It all sounds a bit abstract to me, especially when considering that there's no quantitative data involved. How does one create policy and make reliable decisions without quantitative information? My conversation with her has put me off from applying.

I was wondering if there are any local government policy officers on TSR who might be able to enlighten me on the types of activities they would do on a day to day.
Boss to Fruli > "We are trying to reduce our Carbon footprint - please find me information to inform our policy on mowing roadside verges!"

So you have to gather, among other ideas

  • Stats on miles of roadside verge in the are that is vegetated
  • Accident stats - there are none specifically on accidents caused by vegetation/visibility so how can you narrow it down?
  • What is the current expenditure on staff, vehicles, machinery, insurance, communications etc
  • What do the charities/activists say about road-side verge value eg Buglife, Butterfly Conservation, RSPB, Hedgehog Helpers etc?
  • What do plants people say is the best way to manage verges for plants?
  • Could a different mowing regime be produced?
  • Could different machinery reduce carbon expenditure?
  • What do the public want?
  • Might different verges be treated in different ways?


There is some quantitative data analysis in this, but none that will match, because it will come from different sources and different dates and collection methods etc. You will have to have inter-personal skills to handle the different pressure groups and the ability to see beyond the persuasion in their rhetoric to the neutral facts. So ultimately, to produce a coherent and informed report to create a policy, there will have to be a lot of qualitative judgement involved.
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Fruli
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#6
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#6
(Original post by Speckle)
At least in government policy roles you would be working with economists who handle most of the analytical side. I suspect at the local level there is a wide range of some areas where they may have people like you trying to make informed decisions whilst others are more finger in the air and pulling mostly from what other local authorities have done.
(Original post by threeportdrift)
Boss to Fruli > "We are trying to reduce our Carbon footprint - please find me information to inform our policy on mowing roadside verges!"

So you have to gather, among other ideas

  • Stats on miles of roadside verge in the are that is vegetated
  • Accident stats - there are none specifically on accidents caused by vegetation/visibility so how can you narrow it down?
  • What is the current expenditure on staff, vehicles, machinery, insurance, communications etc
  • What do the charities/activists say about road-side verge value eg Buglife, Butterfly Conservation, RSPB, Hedgehog Helpers etc?
  • What do plants people say is the best way to manage verges for plants?
  • Could a different mowing regime be produced?
  • Could different machinery reduce carbon expenditure?
  • What do the public want?
  • Might different verges be treated in different ways?


There is some quantitative data analysis in this, but none that will match, because it will come from different sources and different dates and collection methods etc. You will have to have inter-personal skills to handle the different pressure groups and the ability to see beyond the persuasion in their rhetoric to the neutral facts. So ultimately, to produce a coherent and informed report to create a policy, there will have to be a lot of qualitative judgement involved.
Thank you both. Very helpful replies. Much appreciated.
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