Scotland to welcome UK's first Data festival

Scotland to welcome UK's first Data festival

Scotland is to welcome the UK’s first ever week long data science festival from The Data Lab in partnership with Sainsbury’s Bank.

The inaugural DataFest17 will be a celebration of innovation and will showcase Scotland’s data science capabilities, attracting international experts in the field to Scotland.

Data experts, including Dr Hannah Fry, UCL and presenter of BBC TV’s The Joy of Data, and Marc Priestley, former McLaren F1 pit stop crew, will lead the DataFest17 line up.

Marc Priestley said: "Data has the ability to change everything, to inform critical decisions and impact lives. It’s really exciting and important that we help realise the true potential of data and I’m pleased to be supporting DataFest17 and can’t wait to see what it brings."

The event will take place in Edinburgh and be made up of five elements: the data summit, data talent Scotland, an executive dinner, fringe events and training.

Gillian Docherty, CEO of The Data Lab, said: "We are at the beginning of the data revolution: data innovation is disrupting all areas of our lives from business to public services and beyond.  The theme for the festival is #DataChangesEverything and the programme will explore current and future innovation.

"Scotland is a world-leader in data science and, in launching DataFest17, we will promote and grow our position on the international stage. The potential benefit of data to Scotland is colossal and by awakening business and the public to the possibilities of data, we can create significant social and economic impact."

Mark Hunter, chief data officer at Sainsbury’s Bank, said: "At Sainsbury’s Bank, data is vitally important as it’s the way we understand our customers, therefore having talented data people is crucial to our business.

"As lead sponsor of DataFest17, we’re helping to bring together the growing data community in Scotland with an exciting opportunity to learn from international speakers."