Talking Data South West

Talking Data South West the region's first conference focusing on all aspects of data: from collection and analysis through to visualisation and communication took place on Thursday 20th June 2013.

We had a fantastic response with over 100 delegates representing more than 50 organisations from around the region.  It was the first event to bring together and showcase the different data activities in the South West and provided a unique opportunity to develop data skills and to network with other regional businesses.  The conference included presentations from a number of keynote speakers from national organisations as well as presentation from local organisations and a poster session.

A timetable for the event including abstracts is available to download here.  Information about the speakers, including slides and videos of their talks are available below.

Keynote Speakers:

Markus Gesmann, Lloyds of London

Photo for Talking Data South WestMarkus Gesmann is not only a professional mathematician working as an analyst at Lloyd's, but a keen R user.  Inspired by Hans Rosling, Markus and his colleagues wanted to introduce interactive data visualisation techniques to the insurance industry as a way to foster dialogue and communication. As the software that Hans Rosling used to create his motion charts is nbw owned by Google, Markus developed, together with Diego de Castillo, googleVis: an interface between R and the Google Visualisation API that allows R users to create motion charts.

Markus' slides are available online and you can watch his talk here.


Alan Smith OBE, Head of Data Visualisation Unit, Office for National Statistics

Photo for Talking South WestAlan Smith is Principal Methodologist (and Founder) of the Data Visualisation Centre at the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS). The ONS produce an enormous quantity of statistics on subjects ranging from crime to education.  Alan and his team's objectives are to use data visualisation tools to help communicate and make these statistics meaningful to a non-statistical audience.


David Arnold, Senior Statistician, Unilever

Talking Data South West key note speakerUnilever markets and sells products under more than 400 different brand names, such as Marmite, Dove and Persil.  David Arnold is a senior statistician at Unilever working as part of a global data science team that underpins these brands and ensures that Unilever understands and meets the needs of its consumers all over the world.  David’s work can be diverse requiring a broad range of statistical and visualisation methods.  He is a statistical manager for personal care clinical studies, and provides statistical consultancy for consumer science and microbiomics. 

Watch David's talk here and his slides are available here: DavidArnold.pdf.

Contributed Speakers:

Paul Howarth, AkumenMaking sense of qualitative data

Robert Allen, Landmark Information Group How data collection from smart phones can improve agronomic decision making in potato crops

Watch Robert's talk here and his slides are available here: RobertAllen.pdf

Rupa Chilvers, Tangerine Bee Planning for the global health workforce: mixing numbers with policy

Watch Rupa's talk here and her slides are available here: RupaChilvers.pdf

Nick Paling, Westcountry Rivers TrustSpatial data and analysis in the improvement of aquatic ecosystem health and drinking water quality

Watch Nick's talk here and his slides are available here: NickPaling.pdf

Richard Everson, Computer Science Department, University of ExeterVisualising and understanding multi-criterion league tables

Watch Richard's talk here and his slides are available here: RichardEverson.pdf

Anna Murray, Biomedical Informatics Hub, University of ExeterUsing genetic data from across the human genome to identify causes of disease and complex traits

Watch Anna's talk here and her slides are available here: AnnaMurray.pdf

David Regis, The Schools and Students Health UnitWhat we have learned from asking questions of young people

Watch David's talk here and his slides are available here: DavidRegis.pdf

Will Stahl-Timmins, European Centre for Environment and Human HealthVisualising statistical data: Lessons from historical information graphics

Watch Will's talk here and his slides are available here: WillStahlTimmins.pdf

Matthew Aldridge - The growing usage of R by commercial organisations

Watch Matt's talk here and his slides are available here: MattAldridge.pdf


This event was kindly sponsored by:‌

Please contact us at if you have any questions regarding this event.