An open and financial data challenge aimed at addressing key issues facing society returns on Monday. Datathon is an intensive 24-hour competition which attracts data scientists and businesses from across Scotland.

The objective, say organisers, is to establish a meaningful link between data and trends in other areas that underpin social well-being, with this year’s theme being ‘driving productivity’. Participants compete to solve challenges and create concepts in a fast-paced environment, testing their ability to analyse data and develop ideas under pressure.

Tynah  Matembe, co-founder of Edinburgh-based Fintech start-up MoneyMatiX, was a member of last year’s winning team, Data Nations, which developed a digital tool called FinTastic to help people make better financial decisions at key moments in their life.

“Financial wellbeing skills are one of the most important factors that determine our lifestyle choices,” said Matembe. “Money is a continuous touchpoint throughout our lives and data can help make this touchpoint meaningful by helping businesses like MoneyMatiX to shape ethical solutions that help people create healthy interactions with money.

“Deloitte’s flagship Datathon is a much-needed event that brings several stakeholders together creating a community and helping start-up’s like MoneyMatiX to validate and build relevant solutions to problems like financial wellbeing. You can’t put a price on that.”

Chris Brown, a senior consultant at Deloitte, said: “Increasing productivity is widely recognised as a key growth driver for businesses. New technology and data have a vital role to perform in helping to achieve this. Our 2019 Datathon challenge will be cross industry – covering all sectors including financial services, corporate and public sector – with the competing teams working over two days to produce ideas and concepts that tackle productivity.

“The Datathon offers an entirely novel challenge because the level of access to data hasn’t been so readily available before. It’s exciting to see participants from companies like MoneyMatiX, who’re working on a prototype which should be ready at the end of next month (April), reap tangible rewards from the Datathon. These are entrepreneurs of the future who are passionate about developing data-driven innovations which have a positive impact on people’s lives.”

Matembe added: “The Datathon was very informative and one of the best things I did last year. For MoneyMatiX, it is about teaching healthy money habits to help people maximise their income and for us, the biggest piece is the ability for adults to transfer these skills to the young people around them. We would like to create a movement of financial role models for the next generation and the community that Deloitte offers through engagements such as the Datathon is fantastic for this.”

Hosted in Deloitte’s offices in Edinburgh, the panel of judges for Datathon 2019 include Melinda Matthews Clarkson, chief executive Officer at CodeClan, Jude McCorry, head of business development at The Data Lab, Colin Cook, Digital Director at the Scottish Government, and Kent Mackenzie, risk analytics partner at Deloitte.

Melinda Matthews Clarkson and Colin Cook will also be keynote speakers, along with Mark Hunter, chief transformation officer, Sainsburys Bank and Chair Person, The Data Lab.

The Datathon will run from the morning of 11 March to the final presentations and speakers on the evening of 12 March and features as a fringe event at Scotland’s week-long DataFest19, the festival of data innovation, which takes place across the country from 11 March to 22 March.

Register here for the Datathon challenge (Monday & Tuesday):

Register here for the Final Presentations & Networking (Tuesday 6pm-9pm):