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Thursday 2 May 2019

We joined Denise Tineghe, second year BSc (Hons) Business Information Technology student, to learn about her recent experience of taking part in DMA’s Creative Data Laboratory and taking on a challenging industry brief.

What is DMA's Creative Data Laboratory about?

DMA represents the data-driven industry. They provide members with a range of opportunities to network and share innovation and best practice. The Creative Data Laboratory is one such opportunity - a free one day event where selected participants have the opportunity to learn about the industry.

How did you learn about this event?

One of our course leaders, Prins Butt, emailed us about the opportunity and encouraged us to apply if we were interested. I read about the opportunity and felt that it was something that appealed to me and could be an area in which I may work in the future. I completed my application through DMA’s website and was lucky enough to be selected as one of the few to attend their Creative Data Laboratory.

What is the purpose of the event?

The purpose of the Creative Data Laboratory was to introduce us to the benefits and challenges that exist in the data-driven industry. We were introduced to a real-world brief set by a company from the data-driven industry and asked to address the brief using that data provided by the company. The brief was very challenging and we had to find solutions to the problems presented in the brief. While a number of experts from the industry were on hand for advice, we were encouraged to find creative solutions and think outside of the box.

At the start of the event we were put into teams. I was in a team consisting of four members: Leonora Rexha, Nicole Fung, Alice Lin and myself. We had never met each other before the event but we quickly realised that not only were we from different parts of the country (and countries!) but we had very different backgrounds and skills. This was very exciting as we all had a lot to share and different skills and knowledge to contribute.

What solution did your team come up with?

The brief presented us with three possible scenarios and we had to select one of the scenarios to address. My team discussed each of the scenarios and in the end we decided to solve the following scenario:

"Using open data and social media, how can you encourage the public to reconsider their travel options in London?"

We explored a number of options using the data that was provided to us by Transport for London (TfL). The data showed that the majority of people preferred to use cars instead of public transportation because of travel time, ease and convenience. After analysing the existing solutions to this problem, we decided that the best way to decrease the reliance on driving to work would be to develop a mobile application that can be used by TfL in partnership with the business.

Our mobile application would offer incentives such as discounts to the people that chose to commute to work using public transportation. We felt this was something that would be supported by TfL as they directly benefited from the success of such an application. Long term benefits of our initiative could include increasing range of discounts, access to the quickest and cheapest routes to desired destinations, convenience and greater personalised support and accessibility.

How was the experience for you?

This was a lovely experience where I met interesting, open-minded people from different backgrounds. I would definitely encourage people interested in the data-driven industry to take part in such activities as it challenges us to solve difficult problems, be creative and gain industry related experience.