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Join the Financial Services for Good Datathon Challenge

Brian Baglow



As part of DataFest 2018 Deloitte’s 24-hour Datathon challenges participants to use the growing availability of financial services data to address challenges facing society.

Data scientists and fintech entrepreneurs from across Scotland have been invited to compete in Deloitte’s 2018 Datathon.

The event is a 24-hour ‘hack’ or ‘jam’, which will focus on Financial Services for Good, exploring how financial data can be used to help address some of the biggest challenges facing society today.

Deloitte told DIGIT that while comparable to hackathons, datathons are intensive workshops in which researchers turn information into knowledge by querying datasets to extract information related to a specific question or topic, rather than designing new apps or software.

Deloitte Datathon

The competitors for the Datathon are hand-picked by Deloitte and come from a diverse range of experience and backgrounds including industry, academia and beyond. They will compete to solve challenges and create unique or novel concepts in a fast-paced environment, which will test their ability to analyse data quickly and develop concepts under pressure.

This year’s Datathon will capitalise on the growing availability of consumer data through new open banking regulations such as PSD2. Its objective is to establish a meaningful link between financial services data and trends in other areas that underpin social wellbeing.

Hosted in Deloitte’s Edinburgh Greenhouse facility, the Datathon will run from midday on March 19th to midday on March 20th. At the end of the development phase, the competitors will present their concepts to a panel of judges including:

The judges will base their final decision on the quality and distinction of the concepts, the use of visualisation, as well as the feasibility and impact each idea.

There will be prizes for the Most Innovative Idea, Deepest Insight from the Data, and one Overall Winner  who will receive a mentoring session with Phil Grady, the CEO of Castlight Financial.

Kent Mackenzie, Datathon judge and director at Deloitte in Edinburgh, said:

“This year, we have seen significant growth in both the size and availability of data due to open banking and PSD2. It has created a real opportunity for analysts to generate new insights and to understand the potential benefits deep data analysis can offer society. Data now has the power to deliver beyond commercial advantages and to have a tangential, positive impact on people’s lives.

“The challenge we are giving to participants of the Datathon is entirely novel as this level of access to data hasn’t been so readily available before. The variety and depth of experience of the participants means we are going to be presented with concepts that could potentially be developed further and help solve some real-world problems for people across society as a whole.”

Data Lab CEO, Gillian Docherty, said:

“It’s brilliant to be able to extend the DataFest reach to so many sectors, including financial services, allowing us to promote the benefits of data-driven problem solving further than ever before. The sheer number of events taking place showcases Scotland’s place as a burgeoning centre for data on a global scale.

“DataFest18 is all about collaboration. We believe that interaction between different industry sectors and disciplines, academics, data practitioners, students, public sector, and business specialists is a key element towards data driven innovation.”

Deloitte’s Datathon is a fringe event at DataFest18, the festival of data innovation. The week-long festival takes place across Scotland from 19th to 23rd March 2018.

You can register for the event here:

Movers and shakers

Brian Baglow


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