Training webinars

We provide free training webinars on a wide range of topics and aimed at a variety of levels of understanding.

Resources from events in this series


Making data readable – dashboards, information visualisation and accessible evidence

There is growing demand from non-researchers for insights from academic data resources, analyses and models, something that has been made particularly obvious by the COVID-19 pandemic, with policy makers demanding near-real-time intelligence on patterns of mobility, economic activity and social interaction.

This webinar, led by Dr Andrew McHugh, equipped participants with the tools to share information needs and align these with available data and appropriate methods of information presentation, as well as covering practical aspects of producing attractive, accessible, and interactive dashboards and data platforms.

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Exploring and analysing open transport data (with a focus on SCOOT data and bikeshare data)

The availability of open data has been growing. Local authorities and companies have been making real-time and historical data, many of which are crowd-sourced, available online (through APIs). The often fine temporal and spatial granularity and the real-time nature of these data enrich the set of available data for cutting-edge transport research. These datasets also become good complements of traditional datasets.

This webinar, led by Dr Chau Man Fung, introduced some open transport data commonly used in transport research to help transport students and the public explore this area and expand their usable datasets for research projects.

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Introduction to Adzuna job market data

This webinar introduced delegates to the Adzuna dataset. Adzuna is a new dataset available from the Urban Big Data Centre (UBDC). Adzuna searches thousands of websites and brings together millions of advertisements on the website. Adzuna aims to be the most abundant classified ads site on the web.

In this webinar, UBDC researchers provide an overview of how they intend to use the data and the Adzuna data owners give additional background information and perspective about the creation of the data.

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Introduction to geospatial analysis using Python tools and Adzuna data

In this webinar, the Adzuna dataset was used to demonstrate how to perform typical GIS tasks in the Python environment.

Following on from the Introduction to Adzuna job market data webinar, this session - led by Nadiia Gorash - covered how to read and write spatial data, perform a simple geospatial analysis, create map and cartographic visualisations using GeoPandas and other Python geospatial libraries.

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Doing research on data uses, needs & capabilities with local authorities

Local authorities, already hit hard by a decade of austerity, are now facing a considerable challenge of managing economic and social recovery in a post-Covid world.

In this context, data intelligence, as well as the capability to access and use near real-time data and intelligence are seen by many as an important part of managing recovery and informing policy making at the local level. It is therefore timely and important, to examine the ways in which local government stakeholders use data to manage the crisis and the recovery, how they manage existing and arising data needs, as well as whether the crisis has reshaped data governance and/or generated new forms of data collaborations at the local level.

Drawing on an ongoing research project led by Dr Justine Gangneux and Professor Simon Joss of UBDC and in collaboration with the Digital Office for Scottish Local Government, this webinar shared learning on researching data uses, needs and capabilities with local authorities.

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Practical approaches for web scraping for research – using Airbnb as an example data provider

Referencing UBDC’s project and open-source software platform to scrape short-term-let data from Airbnb, this webinar provided practical guidance on how researchers, technologists and data scientists can approach web scraping, from the selection of online sources to the planning, conceptualisation, governance, risk management and implementation of technical approaches.

Participants received practical training and code examples, developing an understanding not only of how scraping works but also how to systematise approaches to scale up data collection while avoiding common pitfalls.

Throughout the session, led by Dr Andrew McHugh and Nikos Ves, a series of practical examples covered data scraping using UBDC’s established scraping method from Airbnb’s online platform.

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Triangulating Novel Mixed-Method Educational Data to Develop Effective, Evidence-Based Policy

In this session, led by Professor Catherine Lido, we used examples from the work of the UBDC’s Education work package to illustrate the impact of a range of the mixed-methods approaches, namely using:

  • Novel data linkages
  • Multivariate regression
  • GIS mapping
  • Searchable Twitter dashboards
  • Lived experience interviews

Such approaches were demonstrated by using three projects which have already generated impact in academic, media and government policy domains:

  • Integrated Multimedia City Data (iMCD) as applied to adult learning and greenspace in Learning Cities
  • Open data to demonstrate educational inequalities during the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) exam moderation as linked to measures of deprivation
  • Exploration of food insecurity of older adults in Scotland and effectiveness of food support services to tackle these inequalities

We hope these wide-ranging and diverse examples show a common thread of drawing together diverse data strands to argue for holistic and integrated solutions to Learning City issues and urban inequalities.

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