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2018 Datathon

Fintech experts put ideas into action

Kent Mackenzie: ‘a real opportunity for analysts to generate new insights’


Data scientists and fintech entrepreneurs from around the country have been invited to showcase their ideas in the 2018 Datathon.

The event, ‘financial services for good’, is an intensive 24-hour competition which will focus on how financial data can be used to help address some of the biggest challenges facing society.

Following the success of last year’s event, this year’s Datathon will capitalise on the growing availability of consumer data through new regulations including open banking and PSD2. Its objective is to establish a meaningful link between financial services data and trends in other areas that underpin social wellbeing. 

Hosted in Deloitte’s Greenhouse facility in Edinburgh, the Datathon will run from mid-day on 19 March to mid-day on 20 March at which point participants will present their concepts to a panel of judges .

They include Kent Mackenzie, director, head of risk analytics & fintech, Deloitte; Loral Quinn, co-founder and CEO, Sustainably; Phil Grady, CEO, Castlight Financial and Bijna K. Dasani, head of business architecture and innovation, Lloyds Banking Group.

The participants, who come from a diverse range of experience and backgrounds, are handpicked by Deloitte from industry, academia and beyond.

There will be prizes for the Most Innovative Idea, Deepest Insight from the data, and Overall Winner, including a mentoring session with the CEO from Castlight Financial. 

Mr Mackenzie said: “This year, we have seen significant growth in both the size and availability of data due to open banking and PSD2.

“It has created a real opportunity for analysts to generate new insights and to understand the potential benefits deep data analysis can offer society.

“Data now has the power to deliver beyond commercial advantages and to have a tangential, positive impact on people’s lives.”

Several leading industry figures will also offer their take on the industry, with speakers including Phil Grady, CEO of Castlight Financial; Nick Sherrard of Market Gravity; Bijna K. Dasani, head of architecture and innovation, Lloyds Banking Group; and Professor Georgios Panos, Glasgow University. 

Deloitte’s Datathon is a fringe event at DataFest18, the festival of data innovation. The week-long festival takes place across Scotland from 19 to 23 March, with support from the Data Lab.

Data Lab CEO, Gillian Docherty, said: “It’s brilliant to be able to extend the DataFest reach to so many sectors, including financial services, allowing us to promote the benefits of data-driven problem solving further than ever before.

“The sheer number of events taking place showcases Scotland’s place as a burgeoning centre for data on a global scale.

“DataFest18 is all about collaboration. We believe that interaction between different industry sectors and disciplines, academics, data practitioners, students, public sector, and business specialists is a key element towards data driven innovation.”



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