Council gives students authority on data

City of Wolverhampton Council welcomed students from the University of Wolverhampton to offer an insight into how data is used within the authority.

Ten students studying in the School of Mathematics and Computer Science took part in the ‘Data Collision’ event which was hosted by the Insight and Performance Team at the Council.

Graduate Management Trainee, Oliver Ford, who organised the data exchange, said: “The event was held as part of the work to deliver our ‘smart city’ ambitions – including improving the way we access, share and analyse data to support innovation and service improvement across the city.

“I attended the University’s hackathon, Datafest, during the recent Career Development Week, and was really impressed with some of the skills and knowledge displayed by the students.  It seemed like a great opportunity to bring our knowledge together to work on a data collaboration as well as strengthening our partnership working with the University.”

During the session Geoff Simpson and Adrian Barlow from the Insight and Performance Team alongside Oliver gave an insight into their roles. Discussion followed on how data informs decision making at the Council and possibilities for future collaboration, such as work shadowing placements for students. 

A development version of WV Insight, Wolverhampton’s new open data platform was also demonstrated and a ‘Data Challenge’ was set by the Council’s analysts for the students on analysing and visualising the council’s business rate data.

Charlotte Johns, Head of Local Economy, said: “Becoming a Smart City is key priority set by our City Board, and it is exciting to be working with the University on sharing knowledge and skills across the city around open data, which is an essential part of delivering this agenda.”

Dr Patricia Davies, Senior Lecturer in Computer Science at the University, said:  “One of the benefits I see for students is connecting what they do in the classroom with how that knowledge could be used in the real world.  Bringing students out to interact with Data Analysts is giving them something to aspire to as well as offering them the opportunity to see, first hand, how data is used in business.”

Duncan Lewis, a first year Computer Science student, said: “The exchange was very informative and very informal.  It was really interesting to see how business interacts with and uses its data, and I’m looking forward to working on a real-life project with the Council.”

The Council is looking to offer students at the University short-term shadowing opportunities, work placements and possible internships as well as creating a working group to discuss data and data research methods.

ENDS

For more information please contact the Media Relations Office on 01902 32 2736 or 01902 518647.

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