2018 Data Fest to showcase Scotland's '˜world class' talent

A week-long festival which promotes the benefits of data-driven innovation has kicked-off with talks from a range of industry experts.

The theme of this year's festival is 'data warriors'. Picture: Contributed

The second annual Data Fest, which is organised by the Scottish Government-backed Data Lab, aims to showcase the country’s “world class” talent in the sector.

A series of fringe events have already taken place at universities and colleges, but the main event of the festival is the Data Summit conference which takes place on Thursday and Friday.

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Industry leaders and commerical bosses will be among the speakers at Edinburgh’s Assembly Rooms, including BBC broadcaster Hannah Fry, American mathematician Dr Cathy O’Neil and data scientist Dr Kirk Borne.

“Scotland already has impressive data infrastructure and skills, with world class research taking place in our universities and a thriving data business sector,” said finance secretary Derek Mackay, another of the summit’s keynote speakers.

“We are now in a great position to seize the advantage of data driven innovation to help boost our economy and become the data capital of Europe.”

Gillian Docherty, CEO of The Data Lab, said: “Scotland is recognised as one of the leading data science landscapes in the world. DataFest18 will showcase the nation’s leading role in data innovation on the international stage with the programme of events designed specifically to appeal to as wide an audience as possible.

“As well as the importance of ‘data-driven innovation’ and collaboration, the festival will specifically champion the power of ‘Data Warriors’ from diverse industries who act as catalysts to leverage the power of data. Through their efforts, the huge potential of data can be realised through the disruption across sectors - all areas, from personal health to smart transport, from shopping to energy efficiency, from business to public services and beyond.”