Opportunities and challenges presented to the commercial, public and academic sectors by the increasing need for data science talent will be explored at an event in Edinburgh staged by MBN, the search and recruitment consultancy.

In partnership with The Data Lab, MBN has lined up industry specialists from Channel 4, Morgan Stanley, Sainsbury’s Bank, NCR, Glasgow City Council, Thornton’s and Klozers to address and participate in a data science summit at Dynamic Earth tomorrow.

‘What is Data Scientist 2.0: Talent Driven Innovation’ will focus on technology, big data and analytics and the increasing role these areas play in driving business growth and success, with a particular emphasis on how organisations can maximise their chances of attracting and developing data science talent.

“This event is a great opportunity to show what data science students in Scotland are capable of when placed with Scottish companies,” said Joshua Ryan-Saha, Skills Manager at The Data Lab.”

The lab is an innovation centre focused on helping Scottish industry to capitalise on a growing market opportunity in data science. Established with an £11.3m grant from the Scottish Funding Council, it enables industry, public sector and world-class university researchers to innovate and develop new data science capabilities in a collaborative environment.

Its core mission is to generate significant economic, social and scientific value from data for Scotland.  “We are delighted that we will be working with MBN Solutions to help data science students get work placements in Scottish industry for the 2017/18 academic year,” said Ryan-Saha. “We are already seeing success from last year’s cohort, with many students obtaining full-time employment within their host company.”

MBN has this year placed more than 50 Data Lab-funded MSc data science students from seven universities across Scotland’s commercial and public sectors at organisations including the NHS, the Scottish Government, VisitScotland, Morgan Stanley, HSBC, Aggreko, STV, Aquila Insight and snap40.

“With intense competition for top data talent, effective career paths can play a critical role in an organisation’s ability to achieve its human capital goals,” said Paul Forrest, chair of MBN. “Only with this effective meeting of minds between corporates, academia and data scientists will we really see the en-masse arrival of the Data Scientist 2.0.”

Mark Hunter, Chief Data Officer, Sainsbury’s Bank, added: “This event provides Sainsbury’s Bank with the opportunity to speak directly to some of the best and brightest data science talent in Scotland.

“It’s vitally important that Scotland continues to drive forward its data credentials and a cornerstone of this is ensuring companies not only harness data science effectively, but also that the industry works together to ensure there’s a consistent pipeline of data scientists available to support ongoing sector growth.”