DataFest17, A Festival of Data Innovation

DataFest17 is a festival of data innovation run by The Data Lab, with events hosted across Scotland from 20th to 24th March 2017. Scotland is a melting pot of data innovation and the festival will further catalyse activity across the country and bring an international breath on data innovation and best practice to Scotland. DataFest will showcase Scotland’s leading role in data on the international stage, while offering an unprecedented networking platform where you can interact with local and international talent, industry, academia and data enthusiasts.


We are at the beginning of the data revolution: data innovation is disrupting all areas of our lives from business to public services and beyond. The theme for the festival is #DataChangesEverything and the programme will explore data innovation including successes, challenges and the future.

Gillian Docherty, CEO of The Data Lab, said: “Momentum is building for DataFest17 – in just two months we’ll welcome insight and debate from international academics, businesses and public services on how #DataChangesEverything. The packed programme will showcase data innovation and catalyse further activity while underlining Scotland’s leading role in data on the global stage.

“We want to ensure that people across the world look to Scotland’s data science community as a benchmark for the future of data science. The festival is a platform that not only celebrates the work on data that is being led from Scotland but crucially encourages others to leverage the power of data.”


DataFest has 3 elements:

Data Summit (23rd & 24th March 2017, Edinburgh)
A two-day international conference presenting compelling stories of how #DataChangesEverything with keynotes, panels, pitches and lots of inspiration. Speakers include:

Data Talent Scotland (22nd March 2017, Edinburgh)
Data Talent Scotland is an annual collider event that brings together data science students, data enthusiasts, universities and businesses from across Scotland. The event connects new data talent and education with industry, providing businesses with fantastic opportunities to access the best of Scotland’s data talent and education.
A number of free Data Talent Scotland tickets will be allocated to all SICSA universities to offer to their students.*

Fringe and training events (w/c 20th March 2017, Scotland wide)
Events around Scotland exploring/hacking/debating data innovation. Events include meetups, hackathons, debates, public engagement, and programme of Data Science training events. Schedule will be published late January.

Data Talent Scotland (#DTS17):
Now in its second year, Data Talent Scotland will bring together students, data enthusiasts, universities and employers from across the country; acting as a catalyst for employment and skills development whilst growing links between industry, universities and data talent. At Data Talent Scotland, students can land their dream job and employers can recruit their ideal candidate. Universities will also have the chance to interact with industry and discuss collaboration opportunities, and recruit postgraduate students amongst the attending data enthusiasts.

We expect to host:

  • Over 200+ MSc students studying data.
  • 150+ data enthusiasts looking for careers in data.
  • 50+ company exhibitors looking to hire in Scotland.
  • 11 universities representing 16 master’s data courses.
  • World class speakers & workshop hosts.

Data Talent Scotland will focus on identifying the skills Scotland’s data talent will need to forge Scotland’s data-driven future prosperity. Activities throughout the day will include keynote speakers, skills workshops, a panel discussion, and plenty of networking time. Speakers include Marc Priestley (Formula 1), Sainsbury’s Bank and Aquila Insight.

Join us!

A limited number of early bird tickets are available now for the Data Summit and Data Talent Scotland. (Tickets for events are sold separately).

*A number of free Data Talent Scotland tickets will be allocated to all SICSA universities to offer to their students. Please contact your relevant course coordinator for more information, or contact us at