The Data Lab is hoping to empower Scotland’s ‘Data Warriors’ with DataFest18. Now in its second year, DataFest will offer recognition to those who have promoted or are innovating in data science and promote them as the next leaders in the field.
Jude McCorry, Business Development Director at The Data Lab, told DIGIT: “The biggest thing that we’re doing this year is celebrating Data Warriors. We’re trying to promote people who are not necessarily data scientists, but people who understand that data can achieve so much for organisations, and achieve so much value socially [and] economically, and people that go the extra mile to push these projects through.”
Alongside this, DataFest18 will also offer a week long mixture of interactive workshops and talks from leaders in data science. This year The Data Lab is planning a deeper dive into data science than the 2017 event, as McCorry told DIGIT: “We feel that people are looking to get down into the nitty gritty of artificial intelligence, machine learning, diversity, and talent management – how to set up a data science team, how to do a data science strategy, etc.”
Attendees can also expect to meet with members of the international data community. According to McCorry: “One of our remits is around community building, and what we have achieved over the last two years is bringing people together and setting up a really good community-feel around data science that people share and collaborate around.
“What we did last year is take that one step further and showcase the best technologies around data science in Scotland, and then get people in from around the world to talk about different things going on in the US, France and Ireland.”
Jude underscored the importance of placing Scotland on such a large stage, adding: “I’ve spoken at Stanford, I’ve spoken in New York, and people keep saying that there is nothing that brings it all together in these places.
“There’s something going on in Scotland. When you look back at what we were known for 100 years ago, around inventions, I think personally data science is something that we will be known for in the future.
“When you travel to places like New York, you realise that the world is not that small. Data is a common language, so you don’t have to learn anything different about data to work from around the world.”
Over 2,000 professionals, politicians, school pupils and key industry players attended DataFest17 in March this year. DataFest18 will be hosted between the 19th and 23rd of March 2018, and will allow for 500 more delegates.