The Data Lab
Speak to one of our team to help find out how we can help you
Scotland’s innovation centre for data and AI
We help companies, organisations and individuals capitalise on the opportunities that exist within the field of data science — working with them to grow their operations, develop innovative new projects and ensure they have the data skills needed for the future.
What we do
With our extended network of over 1,500 companies, public sector organisations and universities, we work to make Scotland the global leader in data innovation. To do this, we harness opportunities, connect people and ideas, and develop knowledge and expertise.
Our purpose is to change lives and make Scotland a more productive and sustainable place by transforming the way we use data. We are helping to create a highly skilled workforce and a closely connected business, academic and public sector community. Our aim is to turn Scotland into a thriving, data-driven economy.
We provide a wide range of learning opportunities for students who want to enhance their understanding of data science, and get the data qualifications they need to move forward.
We give companies and organisations the practical skills and hands-on experience they need to reap the benefits of the latest data-science thinking.
We help Scotland’s workforce to build the industry-ready skills they need to tackle tomorrow’s challenges and apply the latest developments in data science and AI.
How we work
Through hubs in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness, we foster innovation through collaboration, we build skills and grow talent, and we champion Scotland’s data science community. Acting as a catalyst, we use our expertise, network, funding and platforms to change how Scotland, and the world, innovates with data.
Our mission is to help Scotland maximise value from data and lead the world to a data-powered future.
Why our work is important
The effective use of data can transform careers, businesses and organisations of all types. But it can be challenging to apply the latest developments in data science and AI in the real world.
Scotland’s thriving data science community is already proving that meaningful innovation happens when industry, data scientists, academia and the public sector work together and share expertise, ideas and approaches. We strive to drive this vital collaboration forward, to ensure that the transformative power of data science is used to the benefit of all.
In today’s digital world, every organisation generates and gathers data. This means that every organisation has the potential to innovate with data, regardless of size or sector. It is estimated that the value to Scotland from this data boom could be as much as £20bn.
What have we done so far?
Founded in 2014, as part of Scotland’s Innovation Centres programme, we have facilitated over 100 collaborative innovation projects between industry and academia — generating over £128m in increased revenue and creating over 400 jobs. More than 500 students have completed postgraduate programmes supported by us, providing the skilled talent Scotland needs to move data science forward.
Since we were set up in 2014, we have been responsible for:
businesses harnessing the power of data
New jobs in data
Revenue increase across multiple industries
“It’s our job to help Scotland achieve bigger and better things and to get people from across the globe excited about what is happening here in Scotland.”Brian Hills
Chief Executive Officer of The Data Lab
Over the next five years, we aim to achieve the following economic and social impact in Scotland:
The Innovation Centres programme
The Data Lab is hosted by the University of Edinburgh and funded through Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the Scottish Government.
The Data Lab is also one of the eight innovation centres funded by the Scottish Funding Council through the Innovation Centres programme. The Innovation Centre programme has been registered with the European Commission as a General Block Exemption Scheme. For more information on the IC programme and State Aid please click here.
“It’s been a pleasure to talk to someone who doesn’t care about what our business does or how big or small we are. I got a genuine sense that Margery was there to help and do the best for us. Best of all, I genuinely felt like no question was a stupid question.”MERCAT
A tourism company that used The Data Lab to improve its customer experience.
“The sessions were all quite substantial, the first one in particular. We had quite a broad concept, and this was about helping us narrow that down into quite practical interventions going forward.”David from Data Distil
They used The Data Lab to build a roadmap for an innovative data analytics service.
“The services that The Data Lab offer are critically important for the tourism and traveltech sector. It’s difficult getting started with and making the most of your data. Hotelfone are an established Traveltech company that has been providing great services to hoteliers for many years. They saw the opportunity that data could offer for their business and their collaboration with The Data Lab will help them grow and innovate in the future. I’d encourage any tourism or traveltech business to do the same.”Joshua Ryan-Saha
Director of Traveltech for Scotland
Speak to one of our team to help find out how we can help you
Find out more about our work:
Driving Value from Data Case Study: NatureScot Supporting a Net-Zero Future
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Data Leaders Case Study: Social Bite
Beginning life as a small café in Edinburgh in 2012, Social Bite has become an internationally renowned charity, supporting people facing homelessness or facing barriers to employment. In the last decade, it has also established several programmes, such as The Social Bite Village, free food provision, and globally renowned campaigns including Sleep in the Park. […]
Our latest news:
Data trends for 2023 – As predicted by ChatGPT
While the questions for this blog piece were prompts from The Data Lab team (generated from points that the model had put forward), this entire article was written by AI chatbot, ChatGPT It is difficult to predict specific data trends for 2023 as they can change rapidly, but some likely possibilities include an increased focus […]
Scottish companies using space data to help tackle climate change
The 11 companies selected to take part in the Scotland Can Do ‘Applying Space Data to the Net Zero Economy’ research and development (R&D) challenge – run by Scottish Enterprise in partnership with the Scottish Government and The Data Lab – came together yesterday (Monday, 23 January) to share their innovative ideas after recently being […]
The rise of the data officer and data use in manufacturing
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