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Fed up with rising energy bills? UK data scientists are here to help

UK and Irish data scientists are aiming to help bring down household energy bills as part of a competition set up by SAS to try to find top data scientists and solve the country’s energy conundrum.

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SAS is allowing access to its software free of charge to let data scientists in the UK and Ireland study open data from the Department of Energy and Climate Change in order to help find answers to the challenges faced by the UK.

The Top Data Scientist competition will reward those data scientists that are able to solve the affordable energy and ecological challenges outlined in the recently released Energy Act.

Over 100 data scientists have already signed up for the competition from different walks of life including students across the UK and Ireland, and data scientists from a number of the UK’s biggest financial, energy and commercial organisations.

The competition comes at a time when data scientists are becoming scarce with a shortfall of around 132,000 workers expected over the next four years. It’s despite the fact that the UK Government’s Information Economy Strategy identified a skilled workforce, advanced tools and “data as an enabler” as the three pillars of success for companies.

“We are seeing industry looking for more people with skills in data analytics, whether that is at the basic level of merging data to the ability to manipulate and model huge data sets. We are in a data driven world and so need more people to recognise its inherent value and importance to the way business, government and society operates,” said Dr Mee Chi So, Lecturer in Marketing Analytics at the University of Southampton.

The judging panel is made up of Liam Fox MP, renowned artist Stanza and SAS head of analytics Laurie Miles with registration set to close at 12:00 on 30 September and entries have to be in a week later at 12:00 on 7 October.

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SAS plans to announce the winner at an event on 29 October with the overall prize a trip to the US for the Global SAS Conference 2015 with various category prizes also available.