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Data, Data Everywhere

How Thinking SMART Can Help Your Organisation

As part of the Engage with Strathclyde Week, organisations across all sectors can get insight and support from a SMART consultancy unit based at the University's Department of Statistics and Mathematics to help approach the data challenges faced in their business and solve real world problems.


In 1854 London was the centre of a severe cholera outbreak that was thought to be caused by pollution or “bad air”. John Snow, an English physician, did not believe that bad air caused this disease and undertook an investigation to find its true cause. Using data on the cholera cases he was able to show that it was not caused by pollution but by contaminated water from a single pump on Broad Street. His findings resulted in the pump handle being removed, an action that is commonly credited with ending the outbreak.

Advances in technology mean that we are now generating more and more data on everything, from our online shopping habits to pollution levels in towns and cities. These data can provide unique insights into the world we live in and are used for a wide range of purposes, from tailored advertisements to informing public health initiatives.

As a result, many business, industrial and public-sector organisations are keen to use their collected data more effectively to gain the best possible insights. This means that the questions being asked of the data are becoming more complex. Often, the time needed to conduct a thorough and robust analysis of the data is not compatible with the time constraints within the organisation. Furthermore, some of the methods needed for analysis are at the very cutting edge of current mathematical and statistical research, meaning time would need to be devoted to learning new techniques before they could be applied.

The Statistics and Mathematics Advice, Research and Training Unit (SMART), a consultancy unit within the Department of Mathematics & Statistics at the University of Strathclyde, was launched in November 2014 to assist business, industrial and public-sector organisations with their data challenges. We offer advice on study design, data analysis and visualisation, and the use of statistical and mathematical modelling as a tool for solving real-world problems. Generally speaking, if there is data to be analysed, or a product or process to be designed, improved or optimised, SMART can probably help. CPD training courses in areas of mathematics and statistics are also on offer, and these can be tailored to suit the needs of your team or workforce. SMART is already working in areas as diverse as health, finance, and law, but our reach knows no bounds.

As part of Engage with Strathclyde 2017, we are holding a special event on the evening of 4th May to showcase how our expertise can help organisations in different sectors. The event, How Thinking SMART Can Help Your Organisation, will start with a presentation from confectionery legend Mr Boyd Tunnock, CBE.

For further information and to register for this free event visit the event page. Here you can also book a free 15-minute consultancy session to find out how SMART could help your organisation.


Look-out for more posts from Engage with Strathclyde participants on the Glasgow City of Science and Innovation Blog and follow them on Twitter @EngageStrath

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