Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Dissertation Projects are Go!

How time flies! Our students have taken their exams and completed the taught part of the programme. The sun is shining and it is dissertation time. Thanks to help from the Datalab, many of our students have paid internships this year in fields as diverse as finance, publishing, retail and even dairy farming! Of our 25 students, 14 have chosen a work placement as part of their dissertation. The students are working in company offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Dundee, gaining valuable exposure to real problems, real data and real work!

Those students who are not on work placements are carrying out project that are either of their own design, or are part of the exciting research that takes place at the University. These projects involve designing new ways for online stores to allow customers to search for products, new machine learning algorithms and new ways of detecting human behaviour from activity watches.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Datalab Student day at Stirling

The University of Stirling recently hosted a day long event for the Datalab students from Dundee, RGU and Stirling. The theme of the day was a "Tech-Data-Startup-Challenge" in which students were treated to a series of short talks about technology startups, business modelling, raising finance and new data technology. Students were then split into groups and each group was asked to conceive a new idea for a data technology startup company.

After a short time to work on their ideas and the aspects of a business model such as revenue streams, customer identification, marketing channels and resource requirements, each group gave a short pitch in a Dragons' Den style session. Event organiser, Kevin Swingler said "I must say the students did very well in the face of tough questioning from the dragons. Our thanks also go out to the members of the panel including representatives from SAS, Think Analytics, HSBC, Scottish Enterprise and the Stirling Management School."

The students' business ideas covered diverse subjects such as online  retail, refuse collection and health and safety assessments. Kevin added "I hope the event went some way to opening the students' eyes to wider questions of how code is turned into money. Employers need staff with good technical skills, but they must also understand how technology fits into the overall business. The Stirling Big Data MSc. is designed to equip students with the skills they will need in work - both technical and commercial".

The Data Lab enables industry, public sector and world-class university researchers to innovate and develop new data science capabilities in a collaborative environment. Its core mission is to generate significant economic, social and scientific value from big data.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

British Airways Graduate Programme

British Airways have been in touch about their Operational Research Graduate Programme. This offers a great opportunity to students with analytical skills. Here is the web site:


The closing data this year is 15/01/2016

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Datalab launch

The Stirling Big Data MSc. is proud to be part of the DataLab MSc. Our students join with those from Dundee and Robert Gordon University to be part of something bigger. We recently all attended the first DataLab MSc. event in the faboulous setting of the Playfair library in Edinburgh.

There were talks about Big Data in sport, finance and science as well as a very encouraging presentation from analytics recruitment company MBN about the excellent prospects for data literate graduates.

Here are all the students lined up for a group picture!

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Welcome to Our New Students

I'm pleased to say we have 25 students on the Big Data MSc. this year. I'm enjoying getting to know them all. They seem to have diverse backgrounds, so I hope they will learn a lot from each other as well as from us!

I was very pleased to get an email from one of last year's graduates from the programme who has just been offered a job at a Big Data consultancy in Glasgow. That is great news.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

MSc. Project Talks

We had a very enjoyable afternoon of MSc. project talks on Thursday. Each of our MSc. students carries out a project over the summer and these talks were given by the students describing their work so far. The talks are always of high quality and this year was no exception.

Many of the projects are suggested by companies, who find it a good way to get to know a student and their abilities before making a job offer. One student is using the Neo4J graph database to model social relationships among people and children who might be at risk. This is being done for a company who provide software to social services departments in local authorities. The project is designed to test whether relationships that are not easy to spot in a traditional database can be discovered using a graph database. The project has also taught the student a list of other interesting technologies as she is implementing a web front end using Python, Flask, and Sigma.js.

Other projects included the remodelling of a credit card database for a major bank and the development of a marketing database using open data for an insurance company.

Each year we award a prize to the best performing student in the taught modules across all of our MSc. programs (there are five) and I'm pleased to say that this year it was a Big Data student who won the prize. They were awarded a year's membership of the British Computer Society plus a cheque for £150, also generously provided by the BCS. The prize was presented at the end of the project talks.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Big Data Jobs and Salary

I had a very interesting chat with a recruitment company who specialise in data and analytics jobs this week. They have kindly agreed to visit our students in Stirling to talk about the Big Data jobs market and help student pick, apply for and get the right job.

There will be sessions on writing your CV and on interview technique as well as insights into the kinds of jobs you might look for.

Students might find their 2015 salary guide interesting. You can see it on line here: