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It’s all about collaboration in the world of Data

January has gone in a flash, despite the fact that I was doing dry January and a daily run! We started the year with our annual TechTrends events in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Inverness. I was at the Edinburgh TechTrends, where EY gave some perspectives on the future technologies which will likely impact business and society. It was very well attended with some familiar and some new faces, and some good chat all round.

At the end of January, we had our joint cyber and data cluster launch event. We had a really varied range of speakers. The themes were very much around collaboration and opportunities – with talks from FinTech Scotland, MaaS Scotland and The Data Lab. The DASA (Defence) and Civtech accelerators described the opportunities to get involved in creating innovative solutions for their various challenges. We also had an amazing talk from Morgan Stanley about the potential opportunities and threats posed by the rise of Quantum computing; who knew teleportation was term applied beyond science fiction!? If you didn’t get along to the cluster launch, we’ve pulled together some highlights – available here.

I sit on the Scottish Government’s Data Delivery Group which met in January. It is comprised of a cross-section of different organisations from across government, and private sector. It’s aims are around working together to share information and shape some of the activities needed “To use Scotland’s data to its full potential by driving innovation, improving public services and unlocking economic value – saving time, money and lives”. At the January meeting, various members of the group pitched suggestions. The top three priorities agreed upon were:

  • To develop access and engagement models for Research Data Scotland – an initiative, set to be launched in Q2, which will bring together a number of public sector datasets.
  • To improve development and delivery of data education and skills by bringing together industry employers and educationalists.
  • To work on data standards in government to improve quality, integration and increase re-use potential.

One of my own priorities will be to stimulate adoption of data driven technologies and innovation. To that end, we’re planning to hold a number of sector specific events. Planning is well underway for a Financial Services focussed Marketplace event due to take place in Glasgow in March.

I’ve just been up to Aberdeen where I talked at the Aberdeen Data Meetup. It was great to be able to share what we’re doing and meet some new people. We also heard about some of the fantastic work being done at the university of Aberdeen with the Grampian Safe Haven data and Maxwell, Aberdeen’s High Performance Computer. In addition, Chris Ayres of Opex, talked us through some real world case studies of how data science has generated efficiencies for customers in the oil & gas sector; including for example detecting and predicting failure of values saving time and money.

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