Michael Li

World class data science ‘Boot Camp’ launched in Scotland

Scotland’s first ever Data ‘Boot Camp’ will be delivered in partnership with a former NASA analyst whose US-based courses are ‘harder to get into than Harvard’.

The Data Boot Camp will upskill employees with raw analytical grounding into bona fide data scientists. Hosted by innovation centre The Data Lab, it is aimed at helping to unlock the economic potential of data to Scotland, estimated to be worth £17 billion* in Scotland alone.

The Data Lab has partnered with New York’s globally renowned The Data Incubator, to develop the three-week Data Boot Camp as part of a drive to plug the nation’s data skills gap.

Brian Hills, Head of Data at The Data Lab, said: “The skills needed to exploit the data opportunity are in great demand and short supply. With the average cost of recruiting a data scientist around £10,000, we’ve come up with a pioneering solution with The Data Incubator that will upskill existing talent and allow organisations to benefit quickly. Boot Camps get results. This Boot Camp will transform those that already have a strong data background into genuine data scientists.

“Securing Michael Li and The Data Incubator is a real coup for Scotland. They are recognised as the go-to experts in the data training sector globally. It means Scotland will make the most of the opportunity on our doorstep by actively enhancing the pipeline of talented data scientists. We are looking forward to working closely with them, targeting industries such as finance and oil and gas where data science skills are in high demand.”

Statistical analysis and data mining were ranked as the second-hottest set of skills last year according to LinkedIn analysis of global recruitment activity. The world’s top academic institutions such as MIT and London’s Imperial College Business School are seeking to address this demand with dedicated courses on business analytics.

Michael Li, founder of The Data Incubator, said: “Such traditional academic options are poorly suited for those who already have a strong statistical background. It is great to come to Scotland and get the chance to work with The Data Lab to develop an intensive course that will upskill those already in industry.

“Scotland leads the way in data science in the UK and The Data Lab are really driving the data agenda forward. Some countries are only just waking up to the potential of data. This course marks a really exciting time for Scotland and The Data Lab and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.”

The pioneering training initiative will allow Scottish businesses to fast track potential returns by using data analysis to drive insight and decision-making across industry. There are up to 50 places at The Data Boot Camp which will take place in September. It will focus on developing practical application skills such as machine learning and data visualisation in a collaborative environment. Applications are now being accepted.

The Data Incubator has partnered with the likes of Capital One, Pfizer and LinkedIn to deliver similar training to current employees and potential hires in the USA.