The Data Lab was established with a core mission to generate significant economic, social and scientific value from data. In the four years since then we’ve encountered people in many different sectors who have gone above and beyond to share enthusiasm for data. We want to champion them.
Scotland’s ‘Data Warriors’ – will be celebrated at DataFest 18. We’ll shine a light on their dedication to affect positive change. Many of these inspirational flag-bearers have focused their efforts on how data can help improve society’s issues. They are highlighting how data can be used for the wider good.
The so-called ‘Data Warriors for Good’ are not all data scientists by trade; rather, they are people who understand data’s intrinsic value and seek to promote its use within a multitude of projects taking place throughout Scotland and the wider world.
Carol Sinclair – Associate Director Public Health & Intelligence Unit, NHS.
An advocate for the use of data science in Public Sector projects, Carol Sinclair is particularly passionate about introducing Data Science to research, education and wider healthcare. Through her efforts, Carol shines a light on the difference data advancements make in communities, schools and the wider world. A pro-active proponent of women in science, Carol is a regular participant in outreach events which strive to bring together, educate and introduce women to the topic of data.
Kenny Fraser – Non Executive Director at Social Investment Scotland
A business consultant, advisor and mentor, Kenny Fraser has a multitude of experience working with key data companies including Scottish shopping app Mallzee. Kenny seeks to share the value which data can bring to business. In his role as CEO of e-prescribing tool Triscribe, his efforts also focus on bringing academic intelligence to the hands of front-line hospital staff for practical use. From monitoring how the rate of antimicrobial prescribing varies across an organisation through to identifying the timings particular wards dispense prescriptions, Triscribe allows data to be both collected and, crucially, understood. Kenny believes that unless you analyse and understand what collected data is telling you, then you can’t benefit from it.
Gerry Scullion – Analytical Services Digital Manager at The Scottish Government
Working alongside Roger Halliday, Chief Statistician at The Scottish Government and the Data Lab, Gerry Scullion has used data in his work on a number of key Public Policy issues. His work has also looked at ways to ‘upskill’ existing Scottish Government employees in their roles as Data Analysts and Data Scientists. A strong advocate for continued professional development, particularly in the field of Data Science; Gerry has worked tirelessly to ensure that the Scottish Government stays ahead of industry trends by building on, educating and evaluating their data science capabilities.
Pippa Gardner – Urban Tide
A co-founder of UrbanTide, a Scottish start-up based out of Edinburgh’s CodeBase, Pippa Gardner has a distinguished profile in the creation of smart cities. Beginning in 2012, by helping to deliver the Innovate UK £24m smart cities demonstrator, Pippa has also worked on the OPEN Glasgow programme, which worked to open up the city’s data as well as create a number of engaging solutions for a broad range of urban challenges. She has also delivered open data training to of 70 different UK public bodies, as well as launching USMART – a data platform which works with organisations to make data more reusable. Speaking about USMART, Pippa acknowledges that, ‘Ninety per cent of the world’s data was created in the last two years and is a valuable asset in its own right. Currently though, it is rarely used for means beyond its intended purpose, and is often locked in silos.’ Her efforts to unlock this potential mine of data look ahead to a time when ‘the humble lamppost no longer just provides light, but also monitors noise, movement and air quality too.’
Michael Young – CEO MBN Solutions
The CEO of MBN Solutions – a recruitment consultancy dedicated to the increasingly important Data Science, Big Data, Analytics, Blockchain and Technology space. Working with talent in Scotland, the wider UK and internationally, Michael Young is a proponent of businesses ‘growing their own’ data talent from existing employees. An instrumental figure in establishing Data Science meet ups in Scotland, he has increased attendance from zero to over 3,000 participants, creating a community of people interested and engaged in the field of data. Michael also works closely with the next generation of Data Scientists and Engineers – alongside The Data Lab, he works to place around 50 MSc data science students from seven Scottish universities across Scotland’s commercial and public sectors.
Jim McCumesty – Head of Core Technologies SAS
Jim McCumesty has worked with The Data Lab since its inception and has been a board member since 2013 providing representation at a number of crucial events. The head of Core Technology R&D Team at SAS Scotland, Jim provides The Data Lab team with key insights into staying commercially focused as well as valuable industry contacts.
Professor Aaron Quigley – Chair of the Human Computer Interaction at University of St. Andrews
A founding member of The Data Lab, Professor Aaron Quigley worked alongside the Scottish Government to bring the idea of The Data Lab to life in Scotland. Working tireless to promote its work, Aaron’s academic appointments have seen him teach to students in Australia, Japan, the USA, Germany and Ireland. Now lecturing at the University of St. Andrews, his expertise and contacts have attracted numerous inward investment companies into Scotland.
Gillian Docherty – Chief Executive The Data Lab
Chief Executive of The Data Lab, Gillian Docherty is responsible for translating the strategic vision of organization into delivery. With over 22 years’ experience working in the IT sector, Gillian is currently working towards creating over 250 new jobs and generating over £100m to Scotland’s economy in her role. Through working to develop The Data Lab, alongside its partners, Gillian seeks to widen both awareness and interest in the importance of data and it’s growing impact on everyday life, she has done this through a range of activity, including a well-received TED Talk as well as her positions on the Board of Tech Partnership Scotland and Glasgow’s Chamber of Commerce.
Data forms a constant part of our day-to-day lives, providing a wealth of opportunities across all industries, and worth an estimated £20 billion to the Scottish economy. The theme of this year’s DataFest is data driven innovation, with a special focus on collaboration and bringing together ‘Data Warriors’ from various sectors to celebrate data’s great potential for generating positive change, in all industries.
DataFest18 runs from the 19th – 23rd of March, encompassing a talent event, an international summit and numerous fringe events across Scotland.