On Friday the 7th of September, the best and brightest Data Scientists in Ireland were recognised at the annual DatSci Awards for their contributions to one of the fastest growing sectors in Ireland.
10 categories featured at this years awards which reflected the wide range of stellar contributions to data science not only in Ireland but also Europe, as this was the first year a category, “ Best Use of Data to Achieve Social Impact” sponsored by Deutsche Bank, was open to European entrants. This year also included the introduction of a new category, “Data Science Technology Innovation of the Year”, sponsored by Three Ireland.
From May to August of this year, the 27 strong independent judging panel who are all Data Science professionals, reviewed each of this year’s applications over a series of 3 competitive stages; including a face to face presentation in order to determine the 10 winners.
Simon Murphy, Head of Technology and the Analytics & Information Management practice in Deloitte Ireland, Title Sponsor, spoke highly of the DatSci Awards: “We believe in the importance of data science as a career and data scientists for the significant contributions and impact that they make. What this year’s entrants illustrate is that the value of data science is not in the numbers, models and complex formulas – ultimately it is about the application of data science to make an impact – be that on business, the public sector or society more broadly. At Deloitte, we are driven to making a tangible and positive impact through the work that we do – that is the reason why we at Deloitte are delighted to sponsor the awards for the 2nd time this year. I want to congratulate all this year’s entrants and winners and look forward to next year’s awards.”
Linda Davis, CEO of Next Generation Recruitment, who established the DatSci Awards in 2016, is optimistic about Ireland’s position as a thriving data science hub. “It has been really amazing to watch the evolution of Data Science over the past three years. This year the DatSci’s have had an overwhelming response to the Awards and the calibre of talent and projects has been incredible. 2018 saw the DatSci’s open one of the award categories to wider communities outside of Ireland, this was the start of the European DatSci Campaign. I would like to congratulate all the Winners and nominees of 2018, thank you for your contributions.”
On the night, a surprise Award was announced for the “Best Application of AI” sponsored by The Aon Centre for Innovation and Analytics (ACIA) , the winner “Accenture The Dock” was was selected from all the finalists from across the 9 categories.
Fergal Collins, CEO of ACIA, commented, “In the ACIA, our mandate is to continuously scan our horizons for new business challenges, new analytical technologies and new data sets that, when coordinated properly, can translate interesting prototypes into scalable commercial solutions. This award is a fitting reflection of our goal in Aon to make data science count, in practical terms, in driving enterprise value for our clients. We are delighted to partner with the DatSci Awards on this exciting new award category, and would like to congratulate the winner Accenture The Dock on their outstanding achievement.”
A list of this year’s nominees and winners in each category:
DATA SCIENTIST OF THE YEAR sponsored by Deloitte Ireland
Brendan Doherty | Pramerica
Humberto Corona | Zalando Ireland Ltd
John Doyle | Deutsche Bank
Michael Phelan | Johnson & Johnson
Mohammad Karzand | Optum
WINNER: Michael Phelan | Johnson & Johnson
ABOUT: Dr. Michael Phelan has been working in and studying data science for over 20 years and is a passionate advocate of the competitive advantage companies can harness by its adoption. He is a data science leader in Johnson & Johnson’s Supply Chain Technology organisation employing market leading techniques & technologies across the data science spectrum. Michael also lectures in data science, presents at international conferences and teaches Lego robotics in primary school, encouraging data scientists of the future.
BEST USE OF DATA SCIENCE IN A LARGE COMPANY sponsored by VHI
Accenture The Dock
ABOUT: Genesys Predictive Routing (GPR) is a revolutionary routing engine that can operate both in the cloud and on premise call centers. It uses historical data and rich customer profiles to build predictive models that match the most suitable contact center resource in a given context.
BEST USE OF DATA SCIENCE IN AN SME sponsored by Enterprise Ireland
Genomics Medicine Ireland
ABOUT: HerdInsights Improving Herd Health and Reducing Cull Rates using Data Science – HerdInsights is an agricultural data company using gesture recognition to track Cow Health and Eustus Activity. This project used data science to improve health alerts using multiple gestures e.g. grazing, resting. It’s innovative as it identifies sick cows and cows that are getting sick, enabling earlier intervention.
BEST OF USE OF DATA SCIENCE IN A STARTUP sponsored by AIB
ABOUT: Arthur – Artificially Intelligent Agent Assist for Customer Service. EdgeTier have developed technology that dramatically improves efficiency in customer contact centres. EdgeTier’s “Arthur” system sits beside human agents seamlessly blending AI, software, and human users.
BEST USE OF DATA SCIENCE IN A PUBLIC SECTOR BODY sponsored by Next Generation
Central Bank of Ireland
ABOUT: Pobal Geosparcity Index – As state investment in childcare increases, so too has the demand for places. The need to invest in capital infrastructure is clear, but how to maximise value for money through investing in the right areas and communities poses a challenge. Through the innovative use of Pobal’s administrative data sets, CSO data, and the application of data science technique, the Geosparcity index provides an objective metric by which to allocate funding.
BEST USE OF DATA TO ACHIEVE SOCIAL IMPACT sponsored by Deutsche Bank
Accenture The Dock
National Biodiversity Data Centre
Transparent Referendum Initiative
WINNER: National Biodiversity Data Centre
ABOUT: National Biodiversity Data Centre have made a strong positive impact on our national understanding of Ireland’s biodiversity, an important natural resource that contributes a minimum of €2.6 billion to the Irish economy each year. Using scientific methodologies combined with innovative data analytical techniques, and supported by modern technologies, they are raising the profile of biodiversity, encouraging citizen engagement through biodiversity recording and conservation, and influencing policy through the provision of robust data-driven insights.
BEST CONTRIBUTION TO DATA SCIENCE – ACADEMIC RESEARCH BODY sponsored by First Data
ADAPT Centre,Trinity College Dublin
ADAPT Centre, Dublin City University
CeADAR, University College Dublin
Lero | Irish Software Research Centre, NUI Galway
Prolego Scientific, University College Dublin
WINNER: ADAPT Centre,Trinity College Dublin
ABOUT: AI Technology Discovery and Extraction – Tracking developments in the highly dynamic data-technology landscape is vital for keeping up with novel technologies. To tackle this problem, a machine-learning based solution was developed to discover and extract information related to novel technologies from text. This will greatly help users build the knowledge they need about these technologies, and predict the trends and sentiment around them.
AWARD FOR BEST DATA SCIENCE STUDENT OF THE YEAR sponsored by Pramerica
Gary White |Trinity College Dublin
Dixon Vimalajeewa | Waterford Institute of Technology
Luke Kelly | NUI Galway
Santhosh Parampottupadam | National College of Ireland
WINNER: Luke Kelly | NUI Galway
ABOUT: The project undertaken by Luke Kelly sought to demonstrate the positive benefits in the application of the tools and techniques of Data Science in evaluating progress towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Alongside this a prototype machine learning based Decision Support Tool was created to provide policy makers the ability to conduct evidence based decision making in a way that is both fair and inclusive.
DATA SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION OF THE YEAR sponsored by Three Ireland
Accenture The Dock – AI Bot for Caseload
Accenture The Dock – Digital Pharmacovigilance
AIB Analytics Factory
Nokia Bell Labs
WINNER: AIB Analytics Factory
ABOUT: In AIB they have designed an Analytics Factory, an innovative use of interconnected technologies enabling data science initiatives to be quickly and robustly designed, deployed and continuously monitored at scale.
BEST APPLICATION OF AI sponsored by The Aon Centre for Innovation and Analytics (ACIA)
WINNER: Accenture The Dock
ABOUT: Accenture The Dock showcased the application of a variety of machine learning and AI techniques across submissions in a number of the different categories. What stood out to the judges was the blending of data science with business and Front End Design, closing the loop of data science to deliver values to its customers.
Winners of 'Application of AI' award - the Accenture The Dock team