Scotland business

New data centres will 'create hundreds of jobs'

Big Data Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Big Data analysis can track details from businesses across the globe

Hundreds of Scottish jobs have been promised with the creation of a new "Big Data" centre.

A £11.3m investment will see the creation of three new data hubs in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

The hubs will analyse a range of online data, such as customer behaviour or production patterns, which firms can then use to boost productivity.

Backers of the plan expect the new labs to play an important part in Scotland's growing digital sector.

Up to 345 jobs are expected to be created.

The Data Lab, the firm behind the new investment, said part of the aim is to try to build better working relationships and understandings between themselves and the firms who are generating the data.

Neil Logan, chairman of The Data Lab, said: "Any organisation can benefit from this. We are going to look to fund over 1000 collaborative, innovation projects between industry public services and their academics.

"Data science is the fundamental skill which helps businesses unlock the value of the data they have. The jobs that we are looking at are highly skilled and highly paid."

Rapidly growing

The investment is expected to bring an additional £155m to the Scottish economy but Mr Logan claimed this could increase dramatically in the future.

He said: "The Centre for Economics and Business Research estimated that 'Big Data' as an area would be worth around £216bn between 2012 and 2017 (in the UK). If we look at Scotland as 10% of that we could be looking at £20bn."

The new lab is being funded by the Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

Laurence Howells, Chief Executive of the Scottish Funding Council, said: "Tablets, kindles, mobile phones, online shopping; we all use and generate massive amounts of data each day.

"Our £11.3 million investment will support The Data Lab to develop innovative techniques that will improve many aspects of our lives, from efficient energy use, personalised online shopping, through to faster and more effective medical care."

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