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ScotDIST: The Scottish Data-Intensive Science Triangle

Getting Involved with ScotDIST Training & Meetings

Training Events at ScotDIST


ScotDIST's flagship training event is our Hackathon event, in which out students attend a two-day workshop on data exploration. At the start of the session the students join teams of five and are given new data sets to explore, either from curated public sources or from our industrial partners.

The format is deliberately open-ended: students are given a few possible directions to explore, but their primary goal is to give a compelling presentation of their discoveries at the end of the session.

Students have explored data sets on topics including:

  • Crime and disorder from England & Wales Police
  • Home sales from the Land Registry
  • Word Associations
  • Movie reviews and popularity

as well as industrial partner data sets (see below).

Although sadly cancelled for the past two years due to the pandemic, we plan to bring the event back in Spring 2022.  If you'd like to get involved with the hackathon event, please get in touch - we would love to have our students explore real life data sets from industrial partners.


One previous partner in a training event has been a brewing company, who gave our students a data set describing the circulation of their kegs back and forth from their customers and throughout their factories. The team studied the loss rate of kegs, predicted what days kegs would return, and what products were returned fastest. A member of the data science team at the company joined us for the event, and supervised the team, later taking one member on for a placement.

Another previous partner was a financial analytics company, who kindly provided a Monte Carlo suite of forecasts of world stock markey behaviours in different sectors, including simulated portfolios. The team learned about the relationships between different economic indicators in the forecast, analysed the different choices made in the portfolios, and made forecasts for returns based on different strategies.

Other training events

As well as our hacakathons we run semi-annual meeting at which our students present their work and hear from industrial partners and academic leaders. These have also been delayed by the pandemic, but we hope to start them again in 2022. Again, if you'd like to get involved and tell our students about data-related work in your industry, please get in touch.