Euan McGrory: Edinburgh prepares to lead the data revolution

Jarmo Eskelinen who leads Data Driven Innovation at Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt Universities
Jarmo Eskelinen who leads Data Driven Innovation at Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt Universities
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Hands up if you know what Data Driven Innovation means.

Chances are you could hazard a guess that it is about computers crunching big numbers to things in a smarter way. Think about those Amazon Prime deliveries which arrive at your door within 24 hours whatever you order. That Amazon warehouse at Dunfermline is pretty big but it can’t hold endless supplies of everything just in case you order it. A smart ordering system that predicts what we will buy and when is the secret.

So far, so clever, but how does that affect us when we’re not shopping online?

The answer is it will increasingly affect all aspects of our working and daily lives. Imagine being referred to hospital or for social care support by a system as efficient as Amazon’s - no more filling out forms in triplicate, far fewer lost notes, more care workers because the admin is being done highly efficiently by a small team of data specialists.

It’s the future. And it’s coming to Edinburgh faster than almost anywhere - thanks to our £1.1billion City Deal. Being at the forefront of this revolution will not only improve local public services - it will also helps thousands of us to future-proof our job prospects.