" /> Big Data - Edinburgh Innovations

Big data

Large datasets are generated by almost every activity in science, society and commerce.  But data generation and collection is only half the story: to leverage value from this data requires advanced analytical tools and techniques. The challenge lies in how to efficiently utilise and harness these vast streams of data to gain value-adding insights.

Companies working with academics from the University of Edinburgh engage in research across a wide range of disciplines. This work is underpinned by the strength of infrastructure which can unlock value from data, allowing companies to gain real insights into their data and establish important correlations, patterns and relationships.

Key areas of expertise

Staff Bootcamp

EPCC (Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre)

EPCC has been a UK-leading high-performace computing centre for more than 25 years. It hosts and administers national-level facilities for use by UK researchers on behalf of UK funding councils.

  • ARCHER UK national supercomputing facility provided by RCUK.
  • DiRAC UK national supercomputing facility provided by STFC.
  • UK Research Data Facility (UK-RDF) UK national data facility provided by RCUK.

EPCC aims to lower the barriers to industry use of high-performance computing; offers high-performance computing consultancy services and collaborates with industrial and commercial partners in HPC projects.

Cyber security

The University of Edinburgh is one of 14 Government-approved Centres of Excellence for Cyber Security Research in the UK. All are recognised by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) as meeting the tough criteria – including a critical mass of academic staff engaged in leading-edge cyber security research. The University is also home to the University of Edinburgh Cyber Security and Privacy Research Network, a multi-disciplinary group facilitating connections and collaborations across the University linking researchers in the Schools of Informatics, Engineering, Maths, Law and Social & Political Science.

HPC on-demand: access to HPC and data facilities

Cost of entry is arguably the biggest barrier restricting the uptake of High-Performance Computing. Our HPC on-demand service eliminates the requirement for capital expenditure by giving you access to our supercomputing and associated facilities, as and when you need them. Known as “Accelerator”, this service is fully scalable and its fully flexible “pay as you go” pricing model provides an affordable entry point to capabilities that have the potential to transform your business.

Data management and analytics

Our supercomputers have vast storage space and their multi-core processing power means that they can quickly convert your data into meaningful business intelligence. We have expertise in distributed computing as well as data integration and data analytics. We can also give honest and impartial advice on the best available commercial and open-source solutions.

Computational modelling and simulation

Modelling and simulation are popular methods of designing, developing and testing tomorrow’s products and services. Analysis using FEA or CFD application packages has become standard for most manufacturing companies. However, many simulation codes do not scale beyond a few tens of processors, meaning that attempts to run them on HPC systems will either fail completely or result in the code running slower. Indeed, the problem of scaling is a key challenge worldwide. We are experts in tackling scaling problems. We can improve the scaling of in-house and ISV codes through optimisation and re-engineering so that companies can undertake faster and larger simulations.

HPC training

Users, developers and business managers can all benefit from EPCC’s highly regarded training courses. We are Europe’s leading HPC training centre and our courses can be tailored to suit your particular requirements. All our training courses are delivered by highly experienced HPC experts and provide both theory and practical sessions to maximise learning.

Software development and optimisation

One of our core objectives is to develop, demonstrate and deploy software that can scale to the largest new and next generation computing architectures. Whether writing new algorithms or optimising existing code, we open the door to the handling of ever vaster datasets and the exploitation of unprecedented sophisticated modelling and simulation capabilities.  We can help you to enhance your existing software and push new products and services forward.

Innovative collaboration

As well as working for you, we’re always looking for opportunities to work with you – to collaborate on new code, applications and other innovative projects that can contribute to the ongoing development of the high-tech, knowledge-led economy. Spanning the spheres of hardware and software, we offer a skills-rich, imaginative environment where industrial, academic and other organisations can collaborate with us and each other to drive new ideas forward, test concepts and assess the market potential of innovative products and services.

Facilities at the University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh is host to an extensive range of facilities, equipment and expertise which can be accessed by companies and organisations for in-house projects. Find out how to access the facilities, equipment and expertise at the University, or to discuss a particular project in greater depth.

Explore all facilities in the College of Science and Engineering


Facilities available at the University of Edinburgh for big data and data science

EPCC (Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre)

Based at the University of Edinburgh, EPCC has gained an enviable reputation for leading-edge capability in all aspects of High-Performance Computing (HPC), big data and novel computing.

EPCC is built on three key foundations:

  • The hosting, provision and management of high-performance computing and data facilities;
  • Research and consultancy to support the computing activities of organisations;
  • The creation of novel and high-performance software solutions for industry and commerce.

The EPCC facilities and expertise are unmatched in Europe. With over 80 highly qualified permanent staff, EPCC has an exceptional pool of talent. Our engineers and technical staff have a balanced blend of theoretical, academic and practical knowledge and many have worked in industry before joining EPCC.

Spanning the spheres of hardware and software, we offer a skills-rich, imaginative environment where industrial, academic and other organisations can collaborate to drive new ideas forward, test concepts and assess the market potential of innovative products and services.

The Centre for Design Informatics

The Centre for Design Informatics at the University of Edinburgh provides a platform in which design and data science can mix. The Centre draws on the University’s unique combination of strengths in informatics and design, to inspire, equip and nurture a new generation of design-informatics researchers, practitioners and entrepreneurs.

The Centre delivers design-centred solutions for commercial, cultural and civic sectors,
for example:

  • Security – applied ethics for secure domestic internet-of-things devices;
  • Health – informatics to support conditions associated with ageing communities;
  • Mobility – models of data driven transport across civic and private networks;
  • Finance – payment services within peer-to-peer lending frameworks.


Contact us to find out how we can help