Data Capital: Making an inclusive difference

Welcome to the first issue of Data Capital, a quarterly supplement which will give you all the information you need about...well, information.

Edinburgh has designs to be the Data Capital of Europe – hence the title – and every three months we will shine a light on some of the people and projects leading the charge.

The focus is very much on what data can do that is useful, data that is making a real difference. How can we unlock massive quantities of financial data safely and ethically to make better policy decisions? How is it helping pupils make their primary school a healthier place? Find out more by flipping through the pages.

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Data is also being used to manage the “busyness” of Scottish beaches and tourist hot spots, and being harnessed with artificial intelligence to power robotics. Later this year, the National Robotarium opens on the Heriot-Watt University campus on the outskirts of Edinburgh – another landmark step in the city’s ambition to be that Data Capital.

Blue-sky thinking: Yellowcraigs beach in East Lothian.

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It is vital that data is directed to doing good. That’s why The Scotsman’s themed annual conference this year is called Data for Diversity.

After two years online, the event will be back live at the University of Edinburgh – online attendance is also available, of course – on Thursday, 29 September.

In Dr Nakeema Stefflbauer, founder and chief executive of FrauenLoop, and Renata Avila, chief executive of the Open Knowledge Foundation, we have already confirmed two excellent and challenging keynote speakers.

This year’s focus is very much on data’s potential to encourage greater diversity, equality and inclusion. It will reflect what data is already doing – and what more it can do – to deliver better social, economic and environmental outcomes.

I hope you enjoy Data Capital, which will also be published this June, September and December. And please check out our Data Capital podcasts available on all main platforms.

If you have any comments or stories you’d like to see covered, please email [email protected]

- David Lee is the Editor of Data Capital

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