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Our day out at Data Talent Scotland

BIG DATA! ANALYTICS! FINTECH! INTERNET OF THINGS! THE CLOUD!

These are the headings we found ourselves under when hosting a stall at the Data Talent Scotland 2016 Event in the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh on the 16th of March.

They can be quite daunting themes but it was clear from registration that it wasn’t going to be daunting at all, it was going to be interesting and amazing. These might be terms that you associate with huge corporations; Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, Skyscanner and many many more - this was definitely a thought I had.

The StartEDIN team could not have been happier to see that this definitely wasn’t the case. Sure, Skyscanner where represented, Deloitte and KPMG were there, along with Tesco Bank and some University presence – but one look around the room and you could see where the real innovation in big data & analytics was.

Mallzee where there (who are hiring!), the excellent SEO leaders Attacat where there, the really cool findr had a stall and accompanying us at our table was Nullimighty.

Nullmighty were there to help us fight our cause. We represent the huge innovative community in Edinburgh and implore people to look to Edinburgh for work in the fast-expanding Tech and Creative sector here in Scotland’s capital.

We hear countless stories of people wanting to work in in the tech sector so have their minds focussed on London. With Nullmighty at our stand, and the rest of the start-ups at the event, we showed them the great capability of Edinburgh.

Nullmighty are a Data Visualisation and Visual Storytelling organisation and we were using their expertise to run a Twitter competition. Anyone who used #DTS16 on Twitter came up on one of our screens:

We then visualised the most popular Tweets on another screen. Whoever had the most popular tweet won a bottle of our finest Glenlivet Whisky.

As you can imagine, we became quite a popular stand:

From about 12pm until 2.30pm #DTS16 was trending UK wide. We were just behind #PMQs, which involved the announcement of the new budget, and in front of #PlaystationVR, PlayStation’s proposed Virtual Reality product. What an achievement! More people were talking about the Data Talent in Scotland than a new game changing (pardon the pun) PlayStation product!

The visualisation of all tweets appearing on our screens LIVE coupled with the Bubble Graph of the most popular tweets certainly gathered attention. Visits to our table spiked and the Nullimighty gang were a hit! Students studying Masters in Analytical Finance were bypassing KPMG to see how a small organisation of less than 10 people had the capability to visualise mass amounts of live data from a self-built platform. It was a proud moment for us.

It is events of this scale that really highlights our vision of Edinburgh. People were learning that Edinburgh has a tech community that is immensely proud of what has been achieved in the city and it is only going to grow from here.

A representative from Deloitte came to speak to us about the new Greenhouse project they are planning for Edinburgh. They will be taking on 70 staff and providing a hub for tech start-ups to work from and integrate within. They wanted us to help share the opportunities this brings to Scotland but, most of all, visualise the story this represents.

We are at the forefront of a data revolution. Being able to utilise and interact with the mass amounts of data that is out there is allowing entrepreneurs to start very exciting projects that are capable of growing massively and rapidly.

A prime example was the event itself. The event organisers were from WeAreTheFuture (WATF), MBN Solutions and The Data Lab. WATF are a 3 person social enterprise which has held their famous Startup Summits in Europe, Asia and the USA. The Data Lab is a community which was started by the analytical head of Skyscanner. Two organisations that were born and bred here in Edinburgh.

What we learned from the day was that Edinburgh, and Scotland, is at the starting point of a technological revolution. Similarly to the way Cloud Computing changed the way we work, Big Data is going to change the way we interact and operate – in work and personal life.

Keep your eye on Edinburgh, because it is about to explode.

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