LinkedInAlan Smith OBE

Alan Smith OBE

Head of Digital Content at Office for National Statistics

Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Government Administration
  1. Office for National Statistics
  1. The University of Salford

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The University of Salford

The University of Salford

Geographic Information Science and Cartography

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Award-winning Data Visualisation expert. Passionate about the intelligent and engaging presentation of data on the web. Hugely experienced presenter and lecturer (international keynotes). Experienced project manager and inter-disciplinary team builder.


Head of Digital Content

Office for National Statistics
– Present (4 months)Portsmouth, United Kingdom

Responsible for Data Visualisation, Design and Editorial Services in ONS' Digital Publishing Division

Principal Methodologist, Data Visualisation

Office for National Statistics
(7 years)Titchfield, Hampshire

Created ONS Data Visualisation Centre in 2007:

1. developed portfolio of award-winning interactive web graphics (see for selected examples)
2. introduced corporate standards on data visualisation for analysis and presentation
3. overseen development of training course for government statisticians on effective data presentation
4. lectured and presented extensively, including United Nations Statistics Division (New York, Manila), Australian Bureau of Statistics, Open University, Royal Statistical Society, International Statistics Institute and many others.
5. experience of dealing with media - content syndication and outreach

Senior Research Officer

Office for National Statistics
(6 years)Titchfield, Hampshire

Senior Research Officer in corporate geography department. Responsible for publication mapping service, corporate GIS support service and ad-hoc research projects (e.g. data quality, spatial analysis and modelling, web mapping, visualisation). Provided corporate secretariat function for ON/Ordnance Survey relationship.


  • Government
  • Statistics
  • Data Analysis
  • Policy
  • Public Policy
  • Policy Analysis
  • Data Visualization
  • HTML
  • SVG
  • JavaScript Libraries
  • d3.js
  • jQuery
  • jQuery UI
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Presentations
  • Web Development
  • Training
  • GIS
  • Flash
  • Research
  • See 5+  See less

Honors & Awards


Queen's Birthday Honours List 2011

Appointed OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in Queen's Birthday Honours List for services to Official Statistics

Excellence in Official Statistics

Royal Statistical Society

Awarded inaugural prize for Excellence in Official Statistics (with Shayla Goldring) for "Ageing in the UK" interactive mapping project.

Best Overall Paper

Association for Geographic Information

Prize for Best Overall paper (with Alistair Calder): "Unlocking information with data visualisation"

Bo Sundgren Prize


Bo Sundgren Prize for Best Presentation at International Marketing and Outputs Database Conference, Naantali, Finland


Web 2.0 and official statistics: The case for a multi-disciplinary approach(Link)

Statistical Journal of the IAOS: Journal of the International Association for Official Statistics

A paper arguing for a multi-disciplinary approach to visualising official statistics on the internet


The University of Salford

Master of Science (MSc), Geographic Information Science and Cartography, Pass

Part time MSc (while working). Dissertation on use of open (W3C) web technologies for small area statistical mapping on the web.

University of Lancaster

Bachelor of Arts (BA), Geography, 2nd Class Honours

2nd year spent at University of Colorado at Boulder (CU) - 2 semesters studying masters-level geography classes.


  1. English

    Native or bilingual proficiency
  2. Spanish

    Elementary proficiency

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