Case study

How The Data Lab nurtures Scotland’s data and AI talent

Hivebrite’s Mentoring Module was a key reason The Data Lab selected Hivebrite as its community engagement platform.

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Key facts

“Hivebrite’s Mentoring Module was one of the key reasons we selected Hivebrite as our community engagement platform.

It was simple to set up our program with Hivebrite. Crucially, it is also easy for our participants to use. The day to day running of the program requires little manual intervention from the team, so scaling our program is quite straightforward!

In less than a year, over 50 mentoring pairs have been established.

Plus, several organizations have approached us to collaborate on mentoring initiatives using our platform. This is a testament to the value our program offers and Hivebrite’s user-friendliness.”

Paul McMillan / Community Manager, The Data Lab

About The Data Lab

The Data Lab is Scotland’s innovation center for data and AI. Its purpose is to change lives and make Scotland a more productive economy and a sustainable society by transforming the way we use data. 


The organization aims to create a thriving, connected society powered by data. It is helping to create a highly skilled workforce and a closely connected business, academic and public sector community to enable Scotland’s economy and society to thrive.

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The community challenge

In today’s digital world, every organization generates and gathers data. Consequently, every organization has the potential to innovate with data, regardless of size or sector. 

It is estimated that the value to Scotland from this data boom could be as much as £20bn.

The Data Lab’s mission is to create the world’s most impactful data community: one where cross-sector conversations, creativity and collaboration ignite and sustain the sparks of ground-breaking ideas, products, and societal advances.

It wanted to create an accessible, online space where data and AI professionals and enthusiasts could find the support, opportunities, and tools they need to thrive.

The Hivebrite solution

The Data Lab partnered with Hivebrite to create its online community, uniting individuals and organizations from different sectors, industries, and levels of experience to drive positive economic and societal impact through the power of data and AI.

Following a successful pilot program with over 200 members—from a wide range of industries, sectors, and experience levels—The Data Lab officially launched its community in September 2021.

The community has been designed to enable connections, learning, support, opportunities and collaboration. 

In December 2021, The Data Lab launched its mentoring program from scratch to further support the learning and development of its members.

The program offers valuable opportunities to access 1-to-1 mentoring from experienced leaders and professionals keen to give back and share their experiences.

Sub-groups have been created within the wider community based on different topics, job roles, and level of experience. Group admins can set up mentoring programs specific to their group.

Using Hivebrite’s Mentoring Model, participants can:

  • Create a mentor or mentee profile and define objectives for the program
  • Search for mentors based on skill, role, and more
  • Engage with professionals in a dedicated, secure online space

The outcome

In one year, the online community has grown from 0 to 2,400 members, spread across 80 industries in more than 50 countries.

“It’s been a very beneficial experience. I started looking for a mentor when I was a student. At first, it was very scary for me to reach out to people that I didn’t know and ask them to help me as a mentor. With The Data Lab Community mentoring program, I knew for certain that they would be people who would like to help people like myself. I felt very supported throughout my journey from a bootcamp student to now, an early career data engineer.”

“l would rate my experience as 10 out of 10. It was so beneficial for me. Without my mentor, I couldn’t have gotten a job offer just one day after my dissertation submission.”

Mentoring program participants and members of The Data Lab Community.