Meet Our People

Making an Impact with Statistics

Mr Leow Geng Hui (Assistant Director) - Economic Accounts Division

‘In today's information age, the ability to gain useful insights from the wealth of information is prized. This presents a great opportunity for a rewarding career with the Singapore Department of Statistics (DOS).'

Leow Geng Hui, a statistician in the Economic Accounts Division at DOS shares what inspired him to be a Statistician, what his work entails and what qualities are required to excel in his job.

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Tell us more about your job as a Statistician.

My job as a Statistician requires me to deal with macro-economic statistics, which involves data gathering, reviewing macroeconomic statistics, analysing time series and evaluating compilation methodologies. Every aspect of the job is important in ensuring that reliable and relevant statistics are produced in compliance with international standards as these statistics are essential for policy planning and decision making.

What motivated you to choose this career?

A career with DOS allows me to pursue my interest in statistics and working with data. I take pride in my work as I know that I play a part in supporting the nation’s economic development.

What are the daily challenges you face and how do you overcome them?

To produce reliable statistics that meet users’ needs, it is important to ensure that the compilation methodologies DOS adopts are comparable to international best practices. To keep abreast of the latest developments, I regularly research on methodology recommendations by statistical bodies such as the United Nations’ Statistics Division.

Which aspect of your job do you enjoy most?

I enjoy the analytical aspect of the job. Thanks to the friendly work environment, I also enjoy working closely with my colleagues.

Describe DOS’ working culture.

DOS values new ideas and creates opportunities for its officers to participate in inter-divisional workgroups to explore different areas of work. We become more wellrounded statisticians as a result.

Take us through a typical day at work.

Before we release our data, I can spend almost the entire day liaising with data providers, verifying data trends and reviewing economic indicators. Outside of these periods, I will usually be researching on methodologies that can be adopted in DOS and exploring the feasibility of using new data sources.

Tell us about the development opportunities in DOS.

Depending on the subject matter we are involved in, there are learning opportunities locally and overseas to enhance our professional capabilities. We may also request deployment to other Sections or Divisions for exposure and to develop expertise in different areas of statistical work.

What do you think are the qualities of a successful Statistician?

To me, a successful Statistician is one who continually keeps himself up-to-date on the latest methodologies and standards, and recommends appropriate changes to existing practices. He also takes ownership of his statistical output, ensuring their accuracy, to support policy planning and decision making.

Transforming Information into Insights

Ms Huang Lihui (Assistant Director) - Business Statistics Division

‘In this information age where huge amounts of information are generated every second from multiple platforms, the need to translate raw data into useful insights presents great opportunities for a rewarding career in statistics.’

In today’s knowledge economy, the need to make sense of a wealth of information and translate raw data into useful insights for policymakers, businesses and the general public has never been greater.

Meet Huang Lihui as she shares about what inspired her to pursue a career as a Statistician at the Department of Statistics (DOS), what her work entails and what qualities are required to excel at the job.

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Tell us more about your job as a Statistician.

I lead a team in the collection, compilation, analysis and dissemination of quarterly business statistics on the services industries. My job involves supporting users’ statistical requirements, reviewing and streamlining work processes, as well as participating in projects to enhance our business survey systems. I also keep abreast of current statistical developments in the international arena with regard to business statistics.

What inspired you to choose this career?

Having an affinity for numbers and an eye for details, a career as a statistician has been my ideal choice ever since I majored in statistics in university.

What challenges do you face and how do you overcome them?

In order to compile various short-term indicators, we gather information from selected companies through our surveys. One of the challenges of my job is to balance the constant need to improve the quality and timeliness of the data without imposing an extra burden on the respondents, such as through obtaining relevant information available from administrative sources.

Which aspect of your job do you enjoy most?

Raw data collected do not have much meaning. Organising and analysing the data to provide a reliable and relevant interpretation of industry trends is a challenge and at the same time my greatest source of satisfaction.

Share with us a memorable episode at work.

Statistical work is not just about numbers and data, but equally about teamwork and collaboration. During a recent divisional retreat, we were grouped into different teams and each team had to design and make a kite. The teams then competed to see whose kite stayed up in the air for the longest time. Although our team did not win, we enjoyed working together tremendously and had great fun bonding with one another.

Describe the work environment in DOS.

My colleagues are helpful, understanding and fun to be with. The necessary guidance and training are always provided. Outside of work, we have a lot of fun as well, including activities like a treasure hunt, an amazing race, a cycling trip to Pulau Ubin as well as a high-adrenaline excursion to Universal Studios!

Take us through a typical day at work.

Before the release of the quarterly business statistics, my team and I study the response rates across different periods and industries and prioritise the list of outstanding returns in order to improve the response rate. Thereafter, we go through the returns and investigate any outliers before compiling the data. Lastly, we analyse the statistical trends from the results of the survey and release our findings. Apart from this, I also work with data users on their statistical requirements, and handle new projects and initiatives.

Tell us about the development opportunities in DOS.

As DOS handles a wide range of economic, business, household and population data, there are ample opportunities to develop expertise in various fields of statistics.

What are the qualities of a successful statistician?

A statistician has to be both an independent worker and good team player. While there are assignments that require independent work and research, there is also collaborative work where team effort and open discussions are necessary.

In addition, as we handle a high volume of data, it is important for a statistician to be meticulous and analytical. The abilities to integrate data from various sources and conduct statistical analysis to identify trends and interesting patterns are essential.

Any advice to fresh graduates considering a career in statistics?

Apart from having sound statistical knowledge, effective teamwork and the ability to make rational judgements using statistical methodologies are critical. In this information age where huge amounts of information are generated every second from multiple platforms, the need to translate raw data into useful insights presents great opportunities for a rewarding career in statistics.

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