Data Science Accelerator – 6 new projects welcomed

October 9, 2023 by No Comments | Category Data, Digital, Digital Scotland

Blog by Joyce Dalgleish, Business Change Manager, Scottish Public Sector Analytical Collaborative.

The Data Science Accelerator is an annual programme that offers public sector analysts the opportunity to develop their data science skills. In September, we welcomed six exciting new projects onto the sixth year of the accelerator in Scotland.

Projects for 2023

• Public Health Scotland: Modernise the Allied Health Professionals Musculoskeletal Waiting Times outputs to provide an accessible dashboard for publication

• ScotRail: Application of GIS mapping and advanced data visualisation techniques to allow for effective communication of rail passenger insight to drive business actions and support mode shift to rail

• Scottish Government: Reproducible Analytical Pipelines for Scottish Welfare Fund quarterly statistics, using R (a statistic programming language)

• Scottish Legal Complaints Commission: Uncovering hidden categories and trends in unstructured complaint process data

• Scottish Qualifications Authority: Using Machine Learning to generate more robust predictions about entry figures for Higher qualifications

• Transport Scotland: Fusing mobile network data with rail gateline data for the development of Origin-Destination matrices for the rail passenger demand in Scotland

The accelerator gives participant protected time of 1 day a week for 12 weeks to explore their real-life work challenge with the support of a mentor; or to help others as a volunteer mentor. This year we have expanded our weekly cohort meetings to include bite-size presentations on topics ranging from Agile to Git to data ethics which we hope will bring added value to being part of the programme.

(Accelerator participants, pictured in order) – Dr Natalie Polack (Public Health Scotland), Michael Shaw (Scottish Legal Complaints Commission), Neil Cannon (ScotRail), Aidan Cassidy (Scottish Government) and Umaymah Qasim (Scottish Qualifications Authority).

The Data Science Accelerator is delivered by a collaboration of data people at National Records of Scotland, Public Health Scotland, Registers of Scotland and The Scottish Government in partnership with The Data Lab and Scottish Digital Academy.

Our aim is to make better use of data and improve services for all. If you’d like to find out how you can get involved, please get in touch at:

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