Welcome to AIMday Data

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AIMday Data took place on Thursday 15 March 2018.

Companies including drinks group Diageo and global technical professional services firm Jacobs as well as organisations including the City of Edinburgh Council and NHS National Services Scotland put their data-related challenges to researchers from the University of Edinburgh.

The questions ranged from how to use Blockchain technology to allow online voting, to how to combine multiple large datasets to tackle environmental issues.

Social benefits

Jacobs posed the challenge of how to use data to demonstrate the social benefits of infrastructure investment.

David Glen, Jacobs Divisional Director, explained: “Infrastructure investment can help improve social inclusion. A road or rail project might provide more access to jobs, leading to lower unemployment, less reliance on benefits, and a stronger sense of community, but these benefits are not often articulated.”

Mr Glen said AIMday gave him new insights into the University’s expertise and the potential for working together for mutual benefit.

“The day really helped to highlight all the work being done by the University in this field,” he said. “It’s given us new ideas on how we could work more closely with the University in the future.”

Open up new possibilities

NHS National Services Scotland asked for researchers’ insights into how to make appropriate data more available to others, and how to use more data that other organisations are producing.

Jonathan Cameron, Head of Service, Strategic Development, said the University and the NHS already had a close working relationship, but the event opened up new possibilities for working with data experts.

“The discussion was very helpful, very insightful in fact, and has given us food for thought,” said Mr Cameron. “I think we have a way forward on two or three points, and I’m really encouraged that there will be collaborations and potential work coming out of this, work that will have some impact and benefit.”

For any queries, please contact the team at Edinburgh.Innovations@ed.ac.uk.