SAS-sponsored students present bike data to Irish Government officials

Six students from Larkin Community College Dublin, sponsored by analytics and AI leader SAS, have outlined to delegates from the Department of Education how cycling uptake can be increased in Dublin after analysing reams of publicly available data.

The students, participating in a global education initiative called P-TECH, performed analysis on 5.4GB of publicly available dublinbikes station data with the aim of identifying cycling patterns and trends that could be leveraged to improve the uptake of cycling in Dublin. They presented their findings at a showcase event on Wednesday 29 March 2023.

P-TECH, founded by IBM, operates in many countries globally and aims to reform education to prepare young people with the academic, technical and professional skills required for 21st century jobs and ongoing education.  In Ireland there are multiple industry partners as well as five schools and a college participating.

Recent research from SAS underlines the importance of tackling the shortage of data science skills, as  63 per cent of businesses don’t have access to people with the right AI and analytics skills.

Minister for Education, Norma Foley TD, said: “The aim of the P-TECH placement is to provide students with a real-world experience working on different types of projects. Developing new skills, knowledge and understanding how to meet these challenges is a key part of P-TECH. Working with different colleagues and learning in new environments based across the P-TECH Industry Partner sites, each and every student should be proud of the work they have achieved and their accomplishments over the last six weeks.”

As part of P-TECH the students joined the SAS team at its Irish headquarters in Dublin, participated in team building activities and were trained in the use of SAS Visual Analytics, SAS Visual Statistics and project management.

Alan McGlinn, Country Lead for SAS Ireland, says investing in the next generation of data professionals is critical for everyone’s future success. He said:

“We firmly believe that this is not only an investment in their future, but also in the future of our industry and the prosperity of the economy and our country. By sponsoring students to take part in P-TECH, we are not only helping to bring reforms to education and presenting them with real world examples to work on, but also giving young people the essential data skills they need to thrive in the workforce. We are proud to support this global initiative and to play our part in shaping the future of data analytics."

Other P-TECH industry partners, alongside SAS, include IBM, Irish Life, Salesforce, Cisco, Virgin Media and Irish Water.

SAS supports a number of initiatives aimed at equipping people with the data skills they need to thrive in a modern economy. It founded the SAS STEP programme, a free reskilling and employment initiative to help jobseekers across Ireland and the UK, empowering the workforce and rebuilding for the future.

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