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How do we create a culture of sustainable business growth through Data?

26th November 2018 @ 11:30 am - 2:00 pm


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This expert discussion is part of the Scotsman’s Data Driven Innovation series.

The panel will explore how important is it for companies to develop a culture which promotes growth through data and encourages the development of new and existing talent within their organisations. The debate will place data skills in a wider context and consider how important they are in enabling companies in Scotland to embrace the data opportunity:

  • Why is data key to Scotland’s future economic growth and how do we ensure broad adoption and data innovation across all sectors?
  • What needs to be done to address the digital skills gap to develop a diverse and globally competitive talent pool, and research infrastructure that contributes more to the Scottish economy?
  • What are the key data challenges that are facing businesses on the ground and how can these be overcome?


11:30am: Arrivals and refreshments
12:00pm: Panel discussion and Q&A sessions
1:30pm: Networking
2:00pm: Close


The panel includes:

Paul Forrest – MBN Solutions
Paul is the Chairman at MBN Solutions and has some twenty-five years experience of helping businesses to solve complex business problems, deliver their transformation goals and to achieve tangible strategic outcomes.

Hands on and deep thinking, he has worked with many FTSE 100 clients, Global 500 businesses and major Government entities around the world including Ford Motor Company, VAG Group, BAE Systems, GSK, AkzoNobel, RBS, HBOS, Diageo, Bacardi, Wal-Mart, British Airways, Virgin Galactic, Etisalat, British Telecom, Vodafone and Allen & Overy.

Paul also sits on the board of a number of agile, disruptive and challenger businesses whilst supporting value creation programmes for Private Equity backed businesses.

Elizabeth Hollinger – Agrekko
Elizabeth is the Head of Analytics and BI for Aggreko, and leads a team of data scientists who use data to drive value across the business.

She has spent the last 12 years working in a variety of industries, helping them use their data to solve business problems.

She has a passion for helping people understand the value of data, and loves to communicate complex ideas in a simple way to enable effective insight-driven decision making.

David Smith – Scottish Enterprise
David was appointed Sector Portfolio Director on the 1st May 2013. In his current role he has responsibility for overseeing the development and implementation of strategy to increase the global competitiveness of a portfolio of sectors which between them make up around a quarter of the total GVA of the Scottish Economy.

Prior to joining Scottish Enterprise David worked in the ICT, Retail and Aerospace sectors holding management positions within Intel, Escom Computers and British Aerospace (now BAE Systems).

He has degrees from Edinburgh University, Strathclyde University and an MBA from INSEAD Business School

David is the Senior Responsible Owner for the SE Data Opportunity activity.

Ed Broussard – Mudano
Ed has spent his entire career in data, having started his career at IBM before establishing and growing EY’s Data Transformation capability. 4 years ago he co-founder Mudano where he is now CEO.

Mudano is a data and machine learning company that uses artificial intelligence and data science to help large IT projects run more effectively.

Mudano is headquartered in London, but they have since expanded and recently opened a new office in Edinburgh.

The Edinburgh office is now home to their innovative research and development centre and their primary focus is to further develop the artificial intelligence and machine learning research arm of then business. Mudano was borne out of Ed and his team noticing a gap in the IT market, where techniques from hundreds of years ago were still being used rather than embracing modern technology.

David Tracy – Castlight Financial
David is responsible for ensuring Castlight’s products leverage the latest state-of-the-art data science techniques, and for creating innovative new products to help lending institutions and consumers take advantage of the new opportunities afforded by open banking, by giving them the tools they need to make better financial decisions.

David has built and led data science teams in the UK and internationally, most recently founding and developing the data science team at web-based fantasy sports company FanDuel, where he mechanised advanced methods of data modelling to predict the behaviour of its 6 million registered users. David has also worked widely across the UK and Europe’s insurance sector at Kwik-Fit Insurance, Ageas and Tesco Bank. During his time in the analytics department at Tesco Bank he was responsible for using data science to support the marketing function by building tools to forecast consumer behaviour and develop evidence-based “what-if” scenario modelling.

Dr Kathi Kaesehage – University of Edinburgh Business School
Dr Kathi is a lecturer and researcher at the University of Edinburgh Business School where she organises and teaches courses on the international postgraduate degrees Carbon Finance and Carbon Management. Through her highly interdisciplinary research, she directly supports the Centre for Business and Climate Change, where she explores the role of climate change for business strategies.

Kathi is specifically interested in how entrepreneurs can be potential frontrunners in attaining a low-carbon economy through their embeddedness in local societies and the importance of SMEs for OECD economies.

For her research projects Kathi works closely with representatives from industry bodies, companies and governments such as Volvo, Costain, Edinburgh City Council or the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ) across the UK, Sweden, China and the Caribbean.

Professor Gareth Peters – Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh

Prof. Gareth W. Peters (YAS-RSE, FIOR) is the ‘Chair Professor for Risk and Insurance’ in the Department of Actuarial Mathematics and Statistics, in Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh. Previously he held tenured positions in the Department of Statistical Sciences, University College London, UK and the Department of Mathematics and Statistics in University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

Prof. Peters is the incoming Director of the Scottish Financial Risk Association and is also the incoming Theme Leader at the Alan Turing Institute for Risk and Insurance. In 2018 he was elected to the Young Academy of Scotland in the Royal Society of Edinburgh (YAS-RSE) as a fellow and continues to hold an elected fellow position in the Institute of Operational Risk professionals since 2015


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26th November 2018
11:30 am - 2:00 pm


The Scotsman Conferences
0131 311 7233
View Organiser Website


The University of Edinburgh
Holyrood Campus, Paterson's Land Building
Edinburgh, EH8 8AQ United Kingdom
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0131 650 1000
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