2023 is already off to a roaring start here at The Data Lab. We’re recruiting new board members, working on a myriad of exciting and innovative projects and gearing up for two incredible events in March – Data Talent and the Scottish AI Summit. We’ve hardly had a second to take down the office Christmas tree … and before we even think about doing that (we do love the holiday spirit around here), we wanted to take a moment to reflect on 2022.
At The Data Lab, it was an exciting year of change, with a lot of milestones to shout about. To date, we’ve supported hundreds of collaborative projects, students in data science programmes, professional development learners and placement students. We’ve welcomed tens of thousands of people to our physical and digital events and can’t wait to ramp up again for 2023!
Without further ado… a reflection on 2022.
January always comes with thoughts of resolutions, new skill development and learning opportunities.
Data-driven innovation is changing the world of work, and it’s a great place to put your New Year energy. At The Data Lab, we can give you the knowledge and training you need both now and to prepare for the jobs of the future. Open, flexible and meaningful learning and development are fundamental to our Professional Development services. We work with industry and academia to make sure that people across sectors have the opportunity to gain the skills they need to apply data science in the real world.
We entered 2022 with a return to events – one of which was the first-ever AI Summit, hosted by our partners at The Scottish AI Alliance.
This hybrid event was hosted at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh and online for the inaugural Scottish AI Summit! It was a brilliant day full of engaging talks, discussions and demonstrations.
Data Talent is a unique event that gives everyone the opportunity to network with companies actively seeking new data talent.
Data Talent is a unique event that gives everyone from students nearing the end of their course and searching for their first job to professionals considering a career change, the opportunity to network with companies actively seeking new talent. It’s for anyone looking to learn more about the myriad of career paths available that relate to these areas.
In addition to networking and keynotes, there was a range of panel discussions as well as interactive workshops covering a range of skills including CV building, techniques for handling technical interviews, the art of storytelling through data visualization, navigating job roles in the field, and the continuing demand for, and opportunities available in, data engineering.
Brian Hills was officially announced as the new CEO of The Data Lab on the 1st of April, following his role as interim CEO.
Hills worked at The Data Lab for the last seven years in a variety of roles including deputy CEO and Head of Service Design. As CEO, he is responsible for leading the innovation centre’s 50+ strong team, as well as driving the growth of AI and data science skills across the academic and business community in Scotland. Thank you Brian for making 2022 such an epic year for The Data Lab – we are lucky to have you!
Innovation Week is always such an exciting time of the year!
We bring our entire MSc cohort together to experience a week-long of networking and skills development with their peers. This starts with a two-day residential element, focused on networking, team building and including a workshop on design thinking in a data context. Students then move onto a two-day data challenge with partners on hand to explain the aims of the experience, and how they will prepare students for, and support them through, the data challenge.
The Smart Manufacturing Data Innovation Hub (SMDIH) will be the largest consortium that the Scottish innovation centre has been a part of in its seven-year history.
As part of the hub, whose role will be to increase productivity and competitiveness in the UK manufacturing sector, The Data Lab now leads data science efforts which will include coordinating organisations’ direct access to and assistance from data scientists, extending the reach for participating firms to work with UK cutting edge platforms, facilities and systems, and championing data skills through knowledge exchange workshops and online learning content.
PillCam is game-changing for early bowel cancer detection – which is so vital in improving survival rates of the disease.
It has the potential to dramatically benefit healthcare systems right across the country by using AI to help clinicians to spot the early warning signs of this deadly disease and save lives. The project demonstrates how Scotland is very much at the forefront of global healthcare innovation. It has the potential to make bowel cancer diagnosis and treatment more cost-effective, less invasive, and easier for patients than existing procedures, and has fantastic potential to reduce the capacity pressures NHS health boards across the UK are experiencing.
Introducing well-qualified and work-ready data graduates into Scotland’s economy.
The closing event for this year’s The Data Lab MSc cohort took place on Wednesday 24th of August at BAaD in Glasgow. About 90 of our students, along with 30 of their supporters, project supervisors, industry sponsors, course leaders and our funders, turned up for a celebration which showcased our programme, our community and all our students have achieved this year. We were also able to introduce The Data Lab Academy which aims to increase the impact of the MSc programme and open it up to new audiences, maintaining the flow of well-qualified and work-ready data graduates into Scotland’s economy.
With 50 students from the AY 21-22 cohort undertaking placements, we celebrated the support from the 39 organisations including Capita, Think Analytics, Nature Scot and The Scottish Legal Complaints Commission, and others who have engaged students on paid industrial placements.
Creating positive economic and social impact using data and AI with The Data Lab Community.
September marked one year since we launched The Data Lab Community – a diverse online space where members from across sectors, industries, and geographies could come together to create positive economic and social impact using data and AI (for themselves, their organisations, and those around them.) Whether your resolution for 2023 is to upskill, network, find a new job, or simply get more connected with a community of like-minded people, The Data Lab Community is a great first step.
The Data Lab Academy offers a programme of workshops, networking events, masterclasses and a residential innovation challenge to support your professional development. The best part? It’s totally free to participate.
On Wednesday 12th October, we headed over to Edinburgh’s beautiful Summerhall multi-arts building to host this year’s Data Lab Academy Launch event – a happy coincidence that it fell on the same week as World Student Day? From networking, bingo, panel discussions and a delicious lunch – the launch was a huge success and we are excited to see what our students accomplish in 2023
DataFest is our annual celebration of Scotland’s leading role in data science and artificial intelligence on the international stage while offering an unparalleled networking platform for local and international talent, industry, academia and data enthusiasts.
Our 2022 festival was an incredible showcase of data and AI innovation where we welcomed people at the cutting edge of technology from around the world to inspire our audience. Speakers like Hannah Fry, Jim Al-Khalili, Maggie Aderin-Pocock, Kevin Murphy (Chief Science Data Officer, NASA), Giovanna Giardino (astronomer, ESA/JWST), and dozens more all took to our three stages to highlight the central role of data and AI in making the world a safer, happier, and more hopeful place.
Targeted at those heading companies from all sectors, we officially launched our Data Leaders programme in November, with intake falling into December. The programme aims to build a community of business leaders in Scotland fully equipped with the skills and knowledge to harness data to drive Scotland’s economic success.
We’re looking forward to another great year full of events, partnerships and celebrations.
Thank you to our supporters, partners, collaborators, and most of all; our fantastic team of dedicated innovators, thought-leaders and kind people that work to make The Data Lab the best that it can be.
There are a lot of different ways to engage with the work that we do. Whether you’re an organisation that is interested in partnering with us, a start-up looking for funding guidance and support, a student looking for scholarships, or someone looking to upskill in their career – we really have something for everyone.
Say hello at email@example.com and we’ll point you in the right direction.