All over the world we are seeing a massive increase in the amount of data we can record and then analyse for the greater good of humanity. The data visualisations above were created using D3.js by Mike Bostock, a great example of how data can both be useful and beautiful too. Closer to home in Ireland we are fortunate to have many innovative companies and individuals achieving fantastic data driven insights. These achievements will be celebrated in September at the inaugural DatSci Awards. Learn more about how to register for the event here.

The value of data insights for agriculture and beyond

Herdwatch are a great example of an Irish data driven innovation company developed to help farmers in their daily lives monitoring their herds. The Irish National Ploughing Championships also provides one of Ireland’s biggest annual tech innovation arena showcasing many data driven innovations. The event had over 280,000 visitors over three days in 2015 with similar numbers expected for 2016. Demonstrating that data driven innovation in agriculture is happening rapidly in Ireland, with lots of exciting potential benefits including reduced herd mortality and healthier animals.

precision hawk

Drones are also helping to achieve more data led insights for agriculture too as illustrated in this interview with Ernest Earon, founder of Precision Agriculture, an aerial data company. In Ireland the drone scene is also booming and this is enabling more and more companies to develop potential commercial insights drawing on the value of the data gathered. Ireland is in the fortunate position to be reaping the benefits of innovation in both drone technology and data analysis too. With the two together there are many more exciting future possibilities in monitoring hard to reach parts of industrial complexes, flooded areas, search and rescue operations and other scenarios where it may not be necessary to risk human life to gather important data.

Cronan McNamara, founder of the annual Predict Data conference (and one of the judges for the annual DatSci awards) which showcases the potential of data to achieve valuable predictive analytics, explains why data science is so important to us in our lives. “Data is growing exponentially and data analytics is emerging from back office research in organisations to sit centre stage – impacting on strategy and operations and demonstrating significant value. According to Forbes: 89% of business leaders believe Big Data will revolutionise business operations in the same way the Internet did.”

Many Irish based companies are making the most of these new opportunities, and developing new and exciting products to help bring more meaning and insights into how we live our lives. Parsa Ghaffari, founder of Irish based company Aylien explains the opportunities that are now available “ infrastructure, algorithms and data availability have reached a point where truly intelligent business applications can be built, and all the great work we’ve put into AI for the past five decades is starting to flourish and become useful.” Parfan’s innovative tools are now being used globally, citing an example where a researcher in Japan has used the Aylien tools to further their cancer research.

Using data insights to discover cures for cancer

In a really exciting article in Wired , March 2016, Niven Narain, founder of Berg is interviewed. Narin has developed new methodologies, aimed at reverse engineering the cancer process to tackle a range of serious life threatening cancer types. By using algorithms to discover cures to cancer his company have opened up the potential for new, rapid developments.

Why Ireland has an exciting future ahead for data science

Edward McDonnell Director of the CeADAR Centre for Big Data Analytics explains why Ireland is an exciting place for the data science and extracting meaningful insights from the growing volume of data.

Ireland is building a huge competence in data analytics. The 3rd level education sector has stepped up to the challenge of significantly increasing the supply of data scientists and has produced many postgraduate conversion courses across the country in data analytics. Enterprise Ireland, the IDA and SFI have also made significant investments in large data analytics competency centres. This all taken together has positioned Ireland as a significant global player in the space. The fact that so many multi-national companies are basing their data analytics centres here is testament to the strategic foresight that pin-pointed data as the new raw material of business.

This is only a brief introduction into all the potential exciting opportunities that data science is opening up to improve the quality of life for many people across the global. We will be sharing more of these stories with you at the DatSci Awards in September this year. You are very welcome to attend to learn more about the exciting developments taking place in Ireland and to also meet many of the people and companies leading this revolution in data science. Watch this space as we will be announcing ticket details soon.