The Data Lab delivered a three-week Data Science Boot Camp in Edinburgh from 12th September for 42 attendees. The Boot Camp was developed in partnership with New York’s globally renowned The Data Incubator, whose courses are reputedly harder to get into than Harvard, as part of a drive to plug the nation’s data skills gap.
The pioneering training initiative aims to allow Scottish businesses to fast track potential returns by using data analysis to drive insight and decision-making across industry. With the economic potential of data estimated to be worth £17 billion in Scotland alone, building a pipeline of talented data professionals is a critical step to unlocking this economic value.
The course delivered a programme built around upskilling attendees into bona fide data scientists with raw analytical grounding. The focus of the three weeks included developing practical application skills such as introduction to data science in Python, machine learning and data visualisation in a collaborative learning environment.
Colin Spence, Project Lead at Material DNA was a student at the Boot Camp and said: The Boot Camp was a really intense and rewarding experience. Not being a programmer or mathematician, the course taught me how to transfer and build on the skills I already have and apply them to data science. I am at a point where I can now continue to learn in this area by myself, given the grounding I now have. I don’t think I could have achieved that any other way.
The event was well attended with representatives from various businesses and sectors, which included delegates from NHS National Services Scotland and the Scottish Government, representatives from different sectors from industry and private sector, and even an independent delegate from Iceland. Attendees were resoundingly positive about the course and its impact on their professional and personal development, as evidenced in this video:
We’re keen to continue to exploit the data potential available in Scotland through investment in our pipeline of talent. We learn a lot from international experts and it’s fantastic that we continue to grow these international links. It is important that we continue to keep ahead of the curve in Scotland to secure our future and take critical steps toward exploiting the data potential available here.
Following the Boot Camp, a meet-up event was held at CodeBase for attendees, which included some presentations from some start-ups who are recruiting for data scientists. The meet-up provided a forum for attendees to discuss the information obtained over the three weeks.