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The Data Lab Launches Advisory Service for Data Innovation

Ross Kelly


The Data Lab

Between 60-85% of big data projects fail, according to Gartner research. The Data Lab’s TORCH initiative will offer businesses a helping hand.

The Data Lab has launched of a business advisory service to boost data-driven innovation and collaboration between businesses.

‘TORCH’ has been created to link businesses who are starting to use data with expert partners and advisors, and will act as a matchmaking service between academia and industry.

The new service, which is funded by Scottish Enterprise and the University of Edinburgh, will work with data specialist suppliers to support organisations across a range of sectors to overcome key challenges when embarking on new data projects.

Many businesses must contend with a lack of in-house skills and knowledge in data and are required to navigate a complex data technology and services marketplace, according to The Data Lab. Many are also unable to find the correct resources, tools and components required for projects.

Over the next four years, TORCH aims to address these issues and assist more than 250 companies.

Commenting on the announcement, Rhona MacLennan, TORCH project leader and principal solutions architect at The Data Lab, said: “TORCH will provide a guiding light along the best path to data success for businesses.

“The service will help to transform the client company from their starting point to an understanding of how their business objective could be achieved, what effort would be required, which tools might be appropriate and which vendors, products and services might be used to achieve a successful data project.”

Moving forward, The Data Lab aims to expand the team responsible for delivering TORCH, which will include the initial recruitment of five new members of staff, including solutions architects, business development and marketing experts.


Gillian Docherty OBE, chief executive of The Data Lab, said: “We are excited to launch TORCH, an initiative born from The Data Lab’s core mission to support others to innovate. Every business has the potential to innovate with data, regardless of size or sector, and we want to make sure they know where to go to get the help, tools or support they need.

“Data presents unprecedented opportunities for businesses, but we recognise it also comes with its challenges. We created our Executive Education service to help businesses start their data journey, TORCH aims to enable businesses to successfully take the next steps on their data transformation by translating strategy into practical actions using the methods and technologies most suited to their needs.”

Ross Kelly

Staff Writer

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