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ScotlandIS Targets Scotland’s Data Growth

ScotlandIS, the membership and cluster management organisation for the digital technologies industry in Scotland, has appointed a Head of Data and a Development Manager for the North East. The move signifies its commitment to strengthening services for members, and the support it provides to the wider industry.

Katy Guthrie joins ScotlandIS as Head of Data from Diligenta, a Tata Consultancy Services subsidiary, with a background in data, software and digital design having worked both at the ‘code face’ and in business intelligence, data architecture and other technologies.

In her new role, Katy will support Scotland’s digital technologies sector to promote and develop new products and services that exploit data, showcasing their data science expertise, in response to the rapidly growing market for specialist data solutions. By bringing together Scotland’s Data Cluster, she will highlight the capabilities across the industry, connecting people, identifying opportunities and, crucially, promoting Scottish data science expertise working alongside The Data Lab, SDI and SICSA amongst others.

On her appointment and leading the formation of the new ScotlandIS Data Cluster, Katy Guthrie said:

“Initial work will focus on understanding and mapping the sector through the development of a data specific capability framework. This cluster will help organisations make quicker, more effective connections. The hands-on experience I have in various data engineering, design and exploitation roles in Financial Services gives me key insights that I can bring to the role. I look forward to engaging with companies, academia and public sector organisations in pursuit of a common goal – to maximise Scotland’s data opportunity.”   

In partnership with ONE Digital and Entrepreneurship, ScotlandIS has also appointed Jen Scott as a co-funded, dedicated Digital Development Manager for the North East to support members to grow their businesses and break into new markets.

Since taking up her new position in April, Jen  has been working with ScotlandIS members and others in the digital technologies community in the North East to raise the profile of the tech sector in the area.  She has a background in technology and most recently headed up public engagement with research at the University of Aberdeen.

Polly Purvis, chief executive of ScotlandIS, said:  

Our recent 2019 Scottish Technology Industry Survey revealed that Scottish tech companies viewed the greatest opportunities over the next 18 months1 as being in artificial intelligence and machine learning  data analytics  and Internet of Things.  We therefore decided to create a dedicated data cluster under the stewardship of Katy as our new Head of Data, as part of our wider cluster development strategy.

“The new data cluster will bring together Scotland based businesses that provide data related products and services. It will facilitate collaboration and the development of new, innovative products and services which could help to open new markets and opportunities across the globe.

“Jen Scott joins us to lead our operations in the North East.  This is a joint role with ONE and builds on our partnership with ONE, to support and develop the digital economy in the area. Jen is already well-connected in the North East and with her technology background and business knowledge she’s   perfect for the role.

We’ve worked closely with Scottish Enterprise who are supporting our cluster strategy, enabling us to strengthen the services we provide.”

Sir Ian Wood KT GBE, chair of ONE’s Digital & Entrepreneurship sector board, said:

“Digital is one of the key transformational factors in our economy and ScotlandIS shares our ambition to make North East Scotland a dynamic environment for new and established tech businesses with high-growth potential and enable digital transformation to deliver step changes in sector productivity. We are now co-investing to bring additional resource into the ecosystem to support company and cluster growth.” 

ScotlandIS is already heavily involved in ensuring Scotland realises the data opportunity. It recently co-authored the report, ‘Building a World-Leading AI and Data Strategy for an Inclusive Scotland’ with BT, SCDI and Royal Society of Edinburgh in support of the development of a national strategy for AI technologies and data.

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