News & Blog

A Summary of Big Data Scotland 2015

Posted on February 08, 2016

On December 2015, The Data Lab was proud to be a part of Big Data Scotland 2015, one of the most important data conferences in the country, organised by Scot-Tech Engagement in association with The Data Lab. A couple of months later, we are happy to share a video summarising the outcomes of the day.

The conference was attended by around 250 data enthusiasts, from business leaders to data scientists and technologists, who were able to learn about and discuss data science and data analytics, and the value it can bring to Scotland. The day comprised a series of expert talks, complemented with workshops covering a range of topics around the application of data analytics, from the Internet of Things and Smart Cities, to Gaming and Performance Sports.

In a world first, The Data Lab were delighted to partner with Soluis to create a live, immersive data visualisation experiment for Big Data Scotland 2015. Breaking out of the limitations of the rectangle, delegates were able to stand within a four metre immersive dome and experience the mood of the conference through the day using visual and audio interpretation. This experiment was driven by delegates' tweets to the conference hashtag #scotdata, interpreted by the IBM Watson Personality API and visualised in the dome.

The Data Lab also hosted a group of P-8 kids from St Nicholas Primary School, who were able to experience immersive data visualisation in the dome, and got to play with Virtual Reality using Google Cardboard headsets. The children found this to be a "once in a lifetime opportunity", that allowed them to appreciate the value of studying maths, and discover that data can be fun.

Have a look at this video summarising the day:


As seen in the video, one of the main findings of the day was the need to nurture data talent in Scotland in order to shorten the skills gap currently being experienced by industry. Through our "Skills and Training" remmit, The Data Lab is working to support industry in addressing the issue, by funding MSc students and PhD projects, organising talks and seminars, and a range of upcoming professional development activities currently being planned, like a summer school and online training (more information to come soon).

To complement all this, The Data Lab has partnered with MBN Solutions and We Are The Future to organise Data Talent Scotland, a collider event designed to spark vital links between industry and academia as well as our next generation of data experts to make connections and learn about the opportunities available in Scotland.

Scotland has genuine potential to become a global centre for all things data, and must seize its window of opportunity to become a world-leading destination for data science. For the first time, industry will be able to meet with representatives from all of Scotland’s existing postgraduate data science courses as well as four that are soon to launch. We believe innitiatives like this can help sieze this opportunity, by providing necessary support to the Data community in Scotland.

We look forward to seing you there!

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