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21 May 2014: Director of CCFEA participated in Ernst & Young consultation

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According to Ernst & Young, CCFEA is one of the five institutes in UK that train data scientists for the financial industry.

On 21st May, 2014, Ernst & Young organized a Global Financial Services Institute event, with focus on "Major IT challenges facing financial services firms". This event was attended by top executives from many financial firms, who out-numbered academics delegates.

According to Professor Philip Treleaven, Director of the Financial Computing Centre, UCL, the financial industry is 60,000 short in data scientists. This shortage of expertise is a major challenge to financial services firms. Ernst & Young has therefore invited all universities that train data scientists for finance to participate in the above event. The challenge is highlighted by the fact that only five such units can be identified in UK:
* UCL, London (Financial Computing Centre)
* King's College, London (Department of Management)
* University of Essex (Centre for Computational Finance and Economic Agents)
* University of Leicester (School of Management)
* University of Manchester (Computer Science).

It is generally accepted in the panel that the shortage of data scientists is difficult to address. Companies and the regulators (such as the Financial Conduct Authority) hold a lot of data, but do not have enough expertise to turn them into information and knowledge. Universities are often short of data for research and training. The publication culture does not encourage innovative research. The REF does not encourage interdisciplinary research, even if that is not their policy. Ernst & Young intend to organize further events to address this expertise shortage problem.

Note: Data science is about turning data into information, and turning information (such as volatility, trends in financial data) into knowledge (models describing regularity, including causality and quantitative relations).

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