What a difference a day makes! Lisa Farrell guest blogs on her SAOS conference experience

We’re delighted to have a ‘guest spot’ for our staff blog – Lisa Farrell, Research Development Officer at the University of Stirling tells us about a ‘whirlwind 24 hours’ and her immersion into SAOS and Scottish agriculture:

“As a city native (Liverpool), in an office-based career, my interaction with Scottish agriculture hadn’t stretched much further than farmer banter at Kirkcaldy Rugby club. However, one 24-hour period at the end of January turned all of that on its head! Having met the dynamic Helen Glass of SAOS at a meeting with Data Science colleagues at University of Stirling, I was very quickly confirmed as a delegate at the SAOS annual conference – taking place the following day!

Having arrived at a snowy Dunblane Hydro, I was plunged headlong into the world of Scottish agriculture, and despite my unfamiliarity, was quickly struck by how challenges faced here are replicated across multiple industries. The need to move with changing population dynamics as well as the opportunities presented by current and emerging technologies are universal.

Furthermore, I saw numerous linkages between real-world problems the agricultural community is facing and the research my colleagues here at Stirling are developing. The obvious connections to be made (and indeed have been made) are between our data and computer scientists and owners of large data sets, but I am also keen to develop linkages around the issue of ageing population; both in terms of end consumers and workforce within Scottish agriculture and Stirling’s world renowned research on ageing.

Two weeks after the conference, Stirling researchers are now working in collaboration with SAOS members to develop a funding bid around Big Data, with numerous other projects in the pipeline!”