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DUG Conference: Data Analysis in a Crisis, plus CDRC Masters Dissertation Scheme

On Tuesday 10th November, the retail industry DUG (Data Analysts User Group) hosted its annual conference on the theme of Data Analysis in a Crisis. Consonant with this theme, the usual industry-led event could not take place at the usual Royal Society venue this year, but nonetheless attracted an audience of 70 participants online using WebEx.

Full details of the programme and activities are available on the DUG website, including videos of the presentations. DUG Director Tim Drye opened the proceedings with an overview of the science and art underpinning the Data Analyst role, illustrating that foundations from each are essential to understanding data and presenting them to an audience in an intelligible manner.

Mark Stern, Eoin Gleeson and Fraser Gray from Ladbrokes Coral then addressed the organisational setting to high performance data analytics through effective team-building, drawing upon their many varied experiences.

Prof. Paul Longley then introduced the CDRC Masters Dissertation Scheme, noting upcoming launch of the 2021 scheme and the opportunities that it offers for career-enhancing interactions between business, academia and student-centred problem-solving. (The website has more information and can be used to make enquiries or submit projects.) Four selected students who took part in the 2020 Masters Dissertation Scheme then presented their collaborative work:

– Lucy (Ludmila) Sabelnikova, City University worked with Movement Strategies, in an evaluation of the ways in which footfall and mobile network data can be used to predict consumer behaviour at events – view Lucy’s presentation and project overview

– Samuel Li, UCL also worked with Movement Strategies, on an assessment of the Impact of weather upon shipping movements, as evidenced using AIS data and weather APIs – view Samuel’s presentation and project overview

– Nombuyiselo Murage, University of Liverpool worked with Tamoco UK Ltd., to derive spatio-temporal geographies of activity patterns from mobile GPS data – view Nombuyiselo’s presentation and project overview

– Taeyang Jung, Imperial College worked with the Phoenix Partnership to identify and evaluate barriers to use of electronic health records in applied settings – view Taeyang’s presentation and project overview

All of this year’s Masters Dissertations were submitted to the annual national CDRC competition, judged this year by Sarah Hitchcock (Geolytix) and Martin Squires (Pets at Home and UCL Visiting Industrial Professor). This year’s winner of the £500 cash prize was awarded to Lucy (Ludmila) Sabelnikova, and the two runner-up prizes were awarded to Nombuyiselo Murage and Samuel Li. Nombuyiselo also won the Presentation Prize for her contribution to the DUG conference, with honourable mentions also going to Samuel and Ludmila.

Congratulations to all the prize winners, and thank you to Lucy, Sam, Nombuyiselo and Taeyang for the excellent presentations., that will be made available as part of the conference proceedings.

The presentations were followed by a presentation from Dr Andrew Larner that took stock of how local councils are adapting to the Coronavirus, bringing together a range of experiences from across the globe. The contribution of the National Statistician, Professor Sir Ian Diamond was unfortunately cancelled because of technical issues.

Gary Cole highlighted the benefits of DUG membership and outlined how DUG is now moving forward, and Tim Drye wrapped things up sharing his reflections from the meeting.

It was a great opportunity to hear from industry, and see how the CDRC Masters Dissertation Students completed their projects over the summer. If you are interested in submitting projects for next years Scheme, please have a look at our website. If you have any questions, please email projects@cdrc.ac.uk .

Written by Nick Bearman, Project Delivery Manager.