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Ideas recognised

Financial app wins top prize at Datathon

Data Nations

Data Nations: Bachar Zaghbour, Angelo Mermiklis, Alex Cunningham, Tynah Matembe Jewel Nguyen

The overall winner of this year’s Datathon was a team of data experts who developed FinTastic, a digital tool to help people make better financial decisions at key moments in their life.

The theme for this year’s event was ‘financial services for good’ which challenged data scientists and tech entrepreneurs to establish a useful link between how financial data can be used to help address some of the biggest challenges facing society. 

FinTastic is an app designed to help people make key decisions, such as when they move into a home or get married.  

Alex Cunningham of Data Nations, who works for the Scottish Government, said: “Financial hardship is an issue that can have long-lasting negative effects on people everywhere, particularly if they do not receive any meaningful guidance or advice.

“Our objective was to create a preventative product, something that stopped people from starting down a path that would eventually lead to a negative financial scenario. Our ethos wasn’t to fix, but rather to prevent.

Two additional awards were presented at the Datathon, hosted by Deloitte as part of DataFest. The Most Innovative Idea award was presented to 10 TOP, a team which identified a correlation between employment and income versus depression and thus a clear link between financial well-being and mental health.

Uplifting Investments won the Best Use of Data award for its idea to harness peer to peer lending for social good. 

Kent Mackenzie, judge and director at Deloitte in Edinburgh, said: “The strength of the concepts from all teams involved were impressive and highlighted what can be achieved when data scientists, industry experts and academics come together to utilise information for the common good.

“The judges were presented with a number of fascinating ideas with potential, but Data Nations insight into the need for financial education and support and their concept of a tool which offers this to the whole of society made them the clear overall winner.”

The other judges were Phil Grady, CEO of Castlight; Loral Quinn, co-founder and CEO, Sustainably and Bijna Dasani, head of business architecture and innovation, Lloyds Banking Group. Representatives from Children First and Glasgow University also presented to the teams.

The Data Lab CEO, Gillian Docherty, said: “There is no doubt that Scotland is marking its place as a burgeoning centre for data on a global scale.”



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