So says Enterprise Scotland, which is supporting its claim by revealing that firms in the data innovation and analytics sector in Scotland have generated more than £1 billion in revenue for the first time.
Senior director of digital technology, David Smith, said: “We have a range of technology here in Scotland which gathers data, and the software and analytics capabilities that makes sense of that data and drive value from it.”
The government agency says it is seeing increased foreign direct investment in the data sector.
Smith added: “Scotland is taking great strides in building strong global reputation as a data innovation community,” he said. “This is expected to attract significant new jobs through inward investment and data driven innovation has the potential to deliver big productivity benefits over the next five years.”
In addition to companies developing data platforms, big businesses such as Skyscanner – which was sold last year in a £1.6 billion deal – are using software to analyse data, in this case flight information, to make it easier for consumers to digest.
Smith continued: “There is a good cluster of companies, we’ve identified more than 150 operating in the field of data innovation and data analytics, which based on our estimates now have a combined [revenue] of more than £1 billion.
“And we estimate over the next five years, in terms of overall potential, the adoption of data analytics and better use of data across Scotland could deliver £20 billion worth of productivity benefits for the economy as a whole.”
Data Lab, one of the Scotland’s eight innovation centres, was created to drive forward the data science industry. At the tail end of 2017, the organisation revealed it had signed a deal with MBN Solutions to support the Data Lab MSc, the collaborative programme between the Data Lab and 11 Scottish universities designed to provide work placements for rising stars of the data industry.
And, according to Enterprise Scotland, the country now boasts the largest proportion of all data science post-graduate courses in the UK.