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'Big Data' student praised at PlanTech 2019

Wednesday 20 March 2019

A POSTGRADUATE student of ‘Big Data’ has been highly-praised after delivering an eye-opening  presentation to city planners.

Cheryl Jones, a student on the Masters in Data Science degree, spoke at the recent PlanTech symposium at The Landing at MediaCityUK.

Her presentation was on brownfield sites in Greater Manchester and stemmed from her research on her work placement at Capita, a digitally-enabled services and software solutions business.


(Dr Mo Saraee with Capita's Alex Cousins and pacement MSc student Cheryl Jones)

Capita Business Development Director Alex Cousins said:“Cheryl opened a lot of eyes among planners about how much data is out there which they could use to their advantage.”

Regeneration opportunities

Speaking to eight out of 10 of the GM councils and 25 companies involved in planning and development, Cheryl, from Yorkshire and a former teacher, gave an insight into the detailed data in the public domain.

“The planning process generates a huge amount of data, which could help advance the development of brownfield sites in the city for regeneration, housing, transport, and much more," added Alex.

“Cheryl’s presentation really put into context how to harness big data in different ways.”

Cheryl, studies part-time on the MSc Data Science, a hugely popular course, which gives students a choice of placements through ‘live’ dissertation projects with more than 40 companies.

Graduates from the programme have landed top jobs, hardly a surprise given that Government figures show the UK needs 70,000 more data scientists in everything from the NHS and biotech to banking and the Civil Service.

Massively growing field

The University of Salford is the most popular place to study the programme in the UK, sweeping up more than 20% of the market last year, with 80 students on the full-time/part-time Masters with enrolments in January or October.

The course was set up and run by Dr Mo Saraee, a reader in data science, who chaired the 2018  IBM-sponsored Big Data Analytics conference in London.

“It’s a massively growing field, and people from a wide range of backgrounds are finding the skills complement their discipline,” explained course leader Dr Saraee.“Whatever field you specialise in it will be data reliant, so we teach our students how to manage data pertinent to their own field.

Recruits include graduates from mathematics, physics, geography, pharmaceutical science, biomedicine, sport science, psychology, and social care.

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Gareth Hollyman, Senior Press & PR Officer (Science)

0161 295 6895