Neil McIvor became the Chief Data Officer and Chief Statistician at the Department for Education in October 2017. Neil started his career in the Civil Service in 2001, becoming a professionally accredited statistician in 2003 following achieving a first class honours degree in Mathematics with the Open University. Neil joined the Department for Work and Pensions in 2004, where his first role was to build a billion record pseudonymised individual level database, linking benefit and employment spells for all UK adults that had been on welfare benefits at some point since 1998. This Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study became the backbone for social analysis of welfare and employment throughout the 2000’s and 2010’s. Neil also spent some time as lead analyst on disability employment issues, before becoming policy lead for specialist disability employment, and disability benefits.
In 2012, Neil returned to his statistical roots, to become the Department for Work and Pensions Deputy Head of Profession for Statistics, and became DWP’s temporary Chief Data Officer in 2016, moving briefly to the Office for National Statistics to run Business Data Operations, and Student Migration statistics, before moving to his current role, where Neil has responsibility for the departments enterprise wide data and information strategy, governance, control, policy development, and effective automated data collections and data sharing. Neil also runs the Department’s Data Protection Office and Knowledge and Information Management teams.
The role combines accountability and responsibility for information protection and privacy, information governance, data quality and data life cycle management, along with the exploitation of data assets to create insight.
Neil was voted the 7th most influential data leader in the UK DATAIQ 2020 and one of the UK’s top 10 data leaders in 2022.