Tesco / dunnhumby Data Science PowWow 2015

Last month we had the pleasure of being invited to the 3rd annual Data Science PowWoW, bringing together data scientists across Tesco & dunnhumby. The agenda was packed with guests from leading technology companies including Facebook and Google sharing their thoughts on the role data science plays in their companies. It was a great chance for us to mix with data scientists of all backgrounds and hear some great talks. We also had the privilege of showcasing some of our work to the conference as part of the technology start up session where we were joined by 6 other technology firms (including our neighbours, @TicTrac). It was the David & Goliath’s of data science all in one place together.

Two of my favourite sessions of the day were from the academic world. Patrick Wolfe, Professor of Statistics at UCL talked about his new role as deputy director of the Alan Turing Institute, the country’s new institute for data science. The creation of the Alan Turing Institute reflects the significance of data science in the UK today, and even more importantly the importance it will have in the world tomorrow. Its official launch was happening on the very evening of the PowWow, so it was fantastic for Professor Wolfe to share his vision and hopes for the Institute.

Later in the day we were joined by Aidan Cooney. He’s a guy who’s managed to make data cool in UK sport, and changed the face of sports journalism, by making use of proper data to support results analysis, especially in the world of football. Aidan took us on the journey of how he created and subsequently sold Opta Sports, and his belief in investing in high quality data capture, even back when no one in the media seemed interested. Combining quality data with smart marketing direct to fans was a key ingredient of Opta Sports’ success and was an inspiring close to the day.

Thanks @GilesPavey & Gabriel Straub for a fascinating day taking a look into some of the world’s leading data and tech companies. Hope we can come back next year!

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