DAERA Information Hub Wins UK Digital Leaders Big Data Innovation of the Year Award

Massive congratulations to DAERA’s Information Hub team on winning the ‘Big Data Innovation of the Year’ category of the UK Digital Leaders 100 Awards ceremony at the Shard in London.

The prestigious Digital Leaders 100 Awards promotes effective, long-term digital transformation. And winning the category is further recognition of the Information Hub’s successful implementation of Big Data.

The awards evening was the culmination of a five month process that saw 700 nominations, 20 judges, 23,000 votes and 100 finalists leading up to last week’s announcement of the top digital individuals and organisations from across the whole of the UK.

(l-r) Paul McGurnaghan, Louis Kerry, Geraldine Devine, Jamie Wallace (Esri Ireland), Eamonn McCrory, Dennis Murphy (CEO Anaeko), Rory Cellan-Jones
After being shortlisted to the top 10 in two categories; a public vote followed on the shortlisted entries and Information Hub made it through to the final three for the Big Data Innovation of the Year category. The top three finalists from each category were invited to pitch to the judging panel, with a presentation outlining their project, the delivery process and real-world benefits of their innovative project.

Regarding the win, Paul McGurnaghan, Director of DAERA Digital Services, said;

“I am absolutely thrilled to see the DAERA Information Hub win this prestigious award. It is testimony to the hard work of the Information Hub team and the fantastic collaboration with business areas across DAERA in building a platform that provides a step change in how we share and exploit data. The Information Hub is a cornerstone in the implementation of the DAERA Data strategy and I am delighted to see this recognition from UK Digital Leaders”.

The recipe for a Big Data success

Information Hub's success has been underpinned by a focus on:

  • providing a single point of data access across DAERA
  • the team's commitment to open data
  • data sharing across a wide range of internal and external stakeholders
  • the wide range of data made available across all business areas
  • access to a range of data types - including innovative drone imagery data; LIDAR and satellite imagery
  • a platform enabling the creation of apps, maps, story maps and dashboards, which people can readily engage with

This has allowed us to deliver real-world benefits by allowing evidence-based policy-making, to increase productivity and service delivery, and enable true collaboration across the Department and beyond.

Geraldine Devine, Head of IT in DAERA said;

“I am really proud of the hard work and dedication of my teams and our delivery partners in the design and implementation of the Information Hub. To build such a sophisticated platform capable of handling DAERA’s big data and ever-changing data needs is no easy task, but the team have been fantastic in their approach and enthusiasm to deliver this project. This really is an exciting time to be involved in IT within DAERA as we can see the real impact and benefits of the work we deliver to our customers. Looking forward to the next stage of this exciting project and further implementation of the DAERA Data Strategy."

There will be lots more to come from the Information Hub. DAERA is embarking on a period of remarkable transformational change to be delivered through various strategies and frameworks covering Green Growth, Environment, Food, Agriculture, Rural Development, Science and Innovation. Each of these will be data driven and the Information Hub will continue to develop and exploit further our rich pool of data to provide the necessary data insights and decision support tools. It will incorporate new digital technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Data Lakes and Cloud Computing and embrace new innovative tools that allow policy makers, scientists and managers to visualise information as never before.

Back to top