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The Data Lab to exploit £17bn of business benefits

The Data Lab, Scotland’s new Data Science innovation centre, will play a key role in helping companies take advantage of the business growth opportunities from better use of data.

The growth of data in recent years means companies are exposed to more information than ever before. Innovative and effective use of data can provide unique business insights for companies to drive their productivity and competitiveness and can help improve public services.

Research conducted by the Centre for Economics and Business Research identified approximately £216 billion of potential business benefits in the UK, over a five year period, through the effective use of data. The potential benefit to Scottish companies is assessed at £17 billion by consultants Optimat.

Formally launching the Data Lab Finance Secretary John Swinney said: “This new innovation centre will transform the nature of collaboration between industry, public sector and academic partners providing new ways for business to benefit from the expertise within Scotland’s world-leading university sector.

“Research has identified approximately £17 billion of business benefits to the thousands of companies in Scotland, the majority of them SMEs, who provide our best opportunity for economic growth.

“This centre will also help us to use data to address key public policy challenges and improve our public services. I am pleased to announce that we will be working with the Data Lab, and other partners, to launch a public policy challenge to identify projects which can harness the power of data to reduce inequalities, enhance prevention and enable civic participation.”

Neil Logan, Chairman of The Data Lab and Chief Technology Officer at Lockheed Martin BTS, said:

“The Data Lab aims to unlock the value of our world-leading academic institutions and release the potential of our commercial sector in domestic and international markets. Along these lines, it’s immensely encouraging that we are at day one and we’re already funding real projects with real money. We look forward to funding many more and to establishing Scotland’s place at the head of data science development.”

The Technology Advisory Group (TAG) also publishes a Data Action Plan, facilitated by Scottish Enterprise, aimed at marshalling key stakeholders from the public and private sectors and positioning businesses to participate in the worldwide data revolution.

Laurence Ward, Chair of the Technology Advisory Group and Senior Partner Scotland at CMS Cameron McKenna, commented:

“The Data Opportunity Action Plan is a roadmap for Scotland to embrace and take advantage of ‘big data’ opportunities to help fuel our economic growth. The plan sets out our strategic objectives, priorities and economic development goals that will drive and complement the activities of The Data Lab.

“We know that companies using advanced data analytics are twice as likely to be sector leaders and are likely to make decisions five times faster than their competitors, providing real-time competitive advantage. I want to encourage every company in Scotland to examine how it can use data more effectively to generate business growth.”

To view the Data Opportunity Action Plan, visit

To view the Technology Advisory Group Framework for Action and all Action Plans, visit

The Data Lab has today launched a live online survey in the form of an infographic. This survey updates in real-time based on input from contributors. 5 Big Data Questions for Scotland aims to capture the state of the ‘Big Data’ nation in Scotland and the results will help The Data Lab shape its services. To complete the online survey visit

The Data Lab Communications

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To read the full Scottish Government press release click here.

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