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The Data Lab
Sectors: B2B, Start-ups, Technology & Data Science
Location: Edinburgh


The Data Lab is one of eight innovation centres funded by the Scottish Funding Council and was awarded its funding of £11.3m over five years in April 2014.

The Data Lab enables Scottish industry to capitalise on the rapidly growing data science market by uniting world-class researchers and data scientists with industry and public services organisations to generate economic, social and scientific value. With a Scotland-wide presence, including hubs in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow, it helps businesses exploit the latest data science technologies to deliver competitive edge and business efficiency.

The Challenge

Following the funding announcement, The Data Lab turned to Robertson Collaborate for marketing support during the set-up phase ahead of its official launch in October 2014. Robertson Collaborate was asked to create a strategic marketing plan and deliver The Data Lab’s marketing for the launch until the marketing team was recruited.

Being one of eight innovation centres in Scotland and with other national organisations The Data Lab needed to establish its identity in a crowded space while engaging with its stakeholders, supporters and interested parties.

The Solution

Robertson Collaborate’s first task was to deliver the strategic marketing plan. The process involved desk-based research and stakeholder engagement, including Board members and representatives from industry, government and academia.

With the strategic foundations in place, the second phase involved the development of The Data Lab’s messaging and positioning, and delivery of its online presence including website and social media channels.

Working closely with the interim COO, David Richardson, the third phase was the official launch and promotion of The Data Lab, kick-starting the communication of the first call for funding of industry-led projects, and maintaining momentum post-launch.

The Result

The launch of The Data Lab was well attended, with many of the leading figures in data science there to hear John Swinney MSP, Neil Logan, The Data Lab Chairman, and other keynote speakers expand on the exciting opportunities at hand for Scotland’s private and public sectors. There was widespread media coverage and social media engagement, and the curated Twitter story of the day can be found on Storify. And the event coincided with the launch of an online infographic survey ‘5 Big Data Questions for Scotland’ that updates in real-time based on input from contributors. It aims to capture the state of the ‘Big Data’ nation in Scotland and the results will help The Data Lab shape its services.

Supported by Robertson Collaborate, The Data Lab recruited marketing resource to continue the implementation of the plan recommendations.

“The strategic marketing plan was hugely insightful, giving the Board and my team confidence to forge ahead with the marketing activities.” 

Dave Clark, CEO, The Data Lab

"The strategic marketing plan was hugely insightful, giving the Board and my team confidence to forge ahead." Dave Clark

Robertson Collaborate Infographic for all you need to know on 1 page. Download here.