eResearch NZ
Accelerating_data_science.pdf (42.95 MB)


Download (42.95 MB)
posted on 2020-06-23, 22:27 authored by Richard Dean
The ability to influence decision making by extracting knowledge from data is key to success in organisations across New Zealand. However, high demand for data scientists means that many organisations who want to expand their data analytics capability experience difficulties in recruiting suitably skilled candidates. Richard will present an alternative approach focussed on the upskilling, retraining and empowering of existing employees through what is termed a ‘data science accelerator’. He will discuss his experience as Public Health England’s first graduate from the UK government’s data science accelerator programme, how that led to working on some cool projects in the UK and why he’s now just as fired up to bring the concept over to New Zealand. He will provide some insights from how the data science initiative is settling in at ESR and how New Zealand could become more ‘united in data’.

Richard is a Data Scientist at ESR, a crown research institute that deals with nitty gritty real world problems affecting human communities covering everything from forensic science to human health, biowaste, microplastics and the environment. Before joining ESR, he worked as a Senior Data Scientist for Public Health England, an executive agency of the UK’s Department of Health.

In his current role, he works across the whole organisation on projects that gain insight from big data sets. He is also responsible for driving forward ESR’s data science initiative which involves training staff through data carpentries and pushing the boundaries through an engineering, robotics, innovation, coding and automation club – Erica for short.

Richard was the first member of staff from PHE to graduate from the UK government digital service ‘data science accelerator’ programme. In 2019, he brought the scheme to New Zealand through an internal accelerator programme within ESR. A second cohort is currently being planned and will run from February – May 2020. He has a BSc in Information Systems Management from Durham University and wrote an MSc thesis on public health data interoperability standards while working in Durham.

He moved to New Zealand in November 2017 with his Kiwi wife and is trying his best to raise two crazy kids – one born in the UK and one born in NZ.

Richard’s claim to fame is that he is one of New Zealand’s most successful mini golf coaches, having convinced his wife to travel to Kosovo for the 2016 World Adventure Golf Masters, where she won a bronze medal - New Zealand’s first ever medal in international match play.


Usage metrics

    eResearch NZ 2020




    Ref. manager