Glasgow - Data Design and Innovation - Show and Tell

December 17th 2018

Glasgow's Data Centre of Excellence was established in 2016 with a clear vision “To imbed a culture of data-driven decision-making using a design-led approach which will result in optimised use of resources and better outcomes for our citizens.”

The team combines several skillsets across a range of different departments to enable the council and its partners to make informed decisions and improve outcomes for everyone in the city – by making better use of data.

This comes together through


  • Data Scientists – who analyse different data sets from across the city to make more informed decisions on city wide issues;


  • Design & Innovation – making the information captured visually engaging as well as implementing new ways to empower businesses, citizens and communities for the benefit of Glasgow


  • Implementation – putting it all into practice

The team’s focus is on a collaborative approach that puts citizens at the heart of decision making and brings together public and private organisations to deliver on the challenges that our citizens face, leading to a more satisfactory outcome where everyone can flourish and benefit from the city’s success. The Scottish Cities Alliance's "Scotland's 8th City - the Smart City" Programme helps support the work of Glasgow's Data Centre of Excellence.

On 28th September 2018, the Data Centre held a Show & Tell Event involving officers from across the council as well as other city local authorities including Edinburgh, Perth & Kinross and Dundee. The team also had several external attendees from organisations such as The University of Stirling, Scottish Enterprise and Community Safety Glasgow.

The Head of Glasgow's Service development and one of the leading members in the Data Centre of Excellence Jenny O’Hagan said “The aim of the event was to raise awareness across the council family as well our external partners of what we do, how everything comes together and the benefits this brings across Glasgow.”

This was backed up by real demonstrations of the processes to the innovative projects in place city-wide to make Glasgow a world class city.

The Centre of Excellence has had success in developing effective solutions to challenges by using data to understand the implications of our interventions, and how best to align our scarce resources. Through maximising the components of the DCOE we can use and share data more effectively. The team felt it was now ready to share our processes and methodologies with the audience which also included a member of the Scottish Government for our afternoon session.

On the day

The Making It Real Show & Tell Day was all about explaining what the team is up to and actually demonstrating how it can be put into action.

Guests were invited to take a walk-through of Zone E of the Tontine space which was perfect for showcasing the visual displays showing the history and current work undertaken by the DCOE; each was also talked through by different members of the team to help give further context to the work shown by the team’s designers. After the team members had presented, delegates were free-roaming around the room and taking notes on the information displayed from the visual demonstrations on the walls, after the speakers had finished giving the event a feeling of an exhibition.

Twenty live demonstrations of projects the Centre of Excellence team is working on to solve city wide challenges were then showcased. These were live demonstrations featuring real time data that our team has stored and used for the benefit of the city. This was an incredible opportunity for guests to get involved and interact with the demonstrations across a number of themes including: people, place, neighbourhood and process.

Attendees were invited to continue working with the Centre of Excellence team to create more solutions validated by data, bring it to a wider audience and deliver bigger benefits.

What’s Next?

Moving on from the show-and-tell day Glasgow will now look to follow up the connections made at the event with a view to building relationships that allow us to further develop our projects, putting citizens at the heart of everything we do.

The city has received overwhelmingly positive feedback from the event on social media platforms and through an online survey that was sent out shortly after the event. The city is also in the process of developing its own website which will be feature the information from our Show & Tell Day and link to social media accounts on which it will give regular updates on what the Centre of Excellence is doing.

You can follow the Glasgow's Centre for Excellence on twitter and Instagram @GCC_D4D

Get Involved

If you think you could benefit from getting involved in this new approach that brings together data, design and innovation to engage with citizens and solve city wide challenges, please contact the team at

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