Taking place on the 7th September in Croke Park, the DatSci Awards return amidst urgent demand in Ireland for data scientists. The awards, hosted by Next Generation and title sponsor Deloitte in association with CeADAR, will bring together more than 300 data science industry leaders and honour those who have accomplished and contributed most in the rapidly expanding field of data science and analytics.

According to Simon Murphy, Partner – Technology, Consulting, Deloitte, Ireland continues to appeal to multinational tech companies, “Ireland, as an ever growing tech hub, with its highly talented, young workforce is a perfect place to grow your career as a data scientist. There are few other places in the world that offer the opportunity to utilise your talent as data scientist in such a variety of ways, be that in our indigenous public or private sector, large technology companies, a vibrant startup scene or indeed in many of the largest companies in the world that have setup operations here.”

Linda Davis, CEO of Next Generation Recruitment is also calling for more international talent, “Ireland is the best place to develop your data science career with top multinationals. This year, the DatSci Awards are opening up entries to Europe for the Social Impact Category. Ireland is building a great critical mass of analysts, from a range of backgrounds, who are supporting government organisations and businesses in delivering their outcomes. It is important to develop the relationship with the European Data community to highlight the opportunities available to European Talent.”

When this year’s judges were asked what were the biggest challenges facing the sector, Head of Data Science at Tenable, Vincent Gilcreest, shared the sentiments of his fellow judges, “It is proving increasingly difficult for organisations to find the data science talent they need to fuel their ever more data heavy strategies. The biggest challenge for data scientists themselves is to maintain technical excellence whilst holding on to the ability to communicate ever more complex applications to the general population.

Skills Ireland estimates that there will be a demand for Big Data/Analytics roles to the tune of 49,000-62,000 in Ireland by 2020. Vacancies hardest to fill will be, deep analytical talent, supporting technology and big data savvy roles.

In recent years many multinational brands such as Zalando, IBM, United Health Group  and Deutsche Bank have set up global analytics hubs here in Ireland and that trend is set to continue with the arrival of First Data.

This years’ CAO applicants are not helping the chronic skills shortage in IT. There is a worrying downward spiralling interest in this area. Last year’s figures were down by 5% and the 2018 figures are down by a further 16%. With so many tech companies locating to Ireland, it is disappointing that young people aren’t more attracted to this sector. On a more hopeful note the BSc in Data Science in DCU is up by 17% in first preference choices. In a recent survey conducted by the World Economic Forum, data analysts are predicted to be one of the most highly sought employees in the near future. Next Generation’s Head of Data Science Recruitment, Laura Kennedy, says, “Ireland’s highly educated workforce and our inventive, entrepreneurial can-do mindset has proved to be a really successful combination in the world of analytics, particularly in our startups and academia”.

Deepanand Saha Roy, Director Data Analytics at Pramerica, “At Pramerica, we are more than convinced that most quantitative courses offered by universities across Ireland provide a very strong foundation for a Data Science career. The Data Science talent gap is only widening by the day, and anyone in the market for Data Science talent can vouch for this. But the good news is that there is a lot of up-and coming young talent right at our doorsteps, waiting to be discovered. With the right level of investment and a long term view, this can be a game changer. This is a big reason why Pramerica has been committed to this cause over the last few years, and awarding the ‘Student of the Year’ at this year’s DatSci’s is a small step in this direction.”

Next Generation are delighted to continue their partnership with UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School to offer 2018/19 candidates applying for the MSc Business Analytics, the chance to win a scholarship to cover full-time EU Fees worth up to €13,350. Full details on this scholarship are available on the UCD Smurfit School’s website which can be accessed here.

The course director, Dr. James McDermott, welcomed the scholarship which acknowledges the current surge in demand for well-trained data scientists.

The analytics sector is growing quickly in Ireland and businesses are increasingly telling us they want to hire more people who have deep analytical skills, an understanding of business needs and customer needs, and an ability to make a connection between the two. That’s what the UCD Smurfit School MSc in Business Analytics aims to produce.”
In total this year there will be 9 different categories of awards to be judged by a panel 20+ Data Science Leaders;

  • DATA SCIENTIST OF THE YEAR powered by Deloitte

  • BEST USE OF DATA SCIENCE IN A LARGE COMPANY

  • BEST USE OF DATA SCIENCE IN AN SME

  • BEST USE OF DATA SCIENCE IN A STARTUP powered by AIB

  • BEST USE OF DATA SCIENCE IN A PUBLIC SECTOR BODY

  • BEST USE OF DATA TO ACHIEVE SOCIAL IMPACT – This category is open to European Entrants powered by Deutsche Bank

  • AWARD FOR BEST CONTRIBUTION TO DATA SCIENCE FROM AN ACADEMIC RESEARCH BODY

  • DATA SCIENCE STUDENT OF THE YEAR powered by Pramerica

  • NEW CATEGORY: DATA SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION OF THE YEAR

This year the hugely popular GeekOut Zone will return which will feature The Insight Centre, GeoDirectory and Corvil. This is a competitive and fun tech environment where guests will be partaking in Data Science focused challenges.

Oliver Daniels, the CEO of Insight Centre for Data Analytics, “At Insight, we are firm believers in both recognising excellence in research, and informing the general public about that research. With the DatSci Awards we can achieve both of these objectives. People have a right to understand what research is taking place in this sphere. An informed public is good for society and it’s good for research. As for the research itself, we attract top talent who conduct cutting edge research. Recognising the work that is done in the way that the DatSci Awards does, is a very welcome opportunity.

Peter Swan, Head of Customer Data and Propensity Modelling at AIB, “It takes bravery to start and grow a business and at AIB we’re backing brave. Our sponsorship of the Start Up Category of the DatSci Awards recognises how data science can play an integral role in a digital era, where data is the lifeblood of your business, uncovering hidden opportunities and enabling your growth. So here’s the deal – you go out and keep making, innovating, enduring and being brave. And at AIB we’ll back you.

Entries are now open for the 9 categories. Deadline for entries is May 25th 2018 6pm. All entries must be uploaded via the website. A panel of expert Judges with be reviewing all applications until June 30th and the DatSci Awards will contact and announce the DatSci Awards 2018 finalists in early July. All finalists will be invited to present to the panel of expert Judges on July 26th 2018 at Croke Park Stadium. One winner for each category will be awarded at the afternoon of celebrations on September 7th 2018.

For more information about this year’s event and tickets visit https://www.datsciawards.ie/ or follow @DatSciAwards and if you want to get in touch email [email protected].

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