The chaotic headquarters of DataScienceLondon’s 24-hour hackathon challenge for programmers, late April 2013.

London is pulsing with ‘Big Data’ action groups and ‘meetups’ for young professionals to test new skills and ventures from mining, manipulation, analysis and graphic presentation of statistics.

Shoreditch (a revitalising area in the old Cockney and neo-Olympics Docklands zone) has been selected by London’s Mayor, Boris Johnson, and the UK Government’s trade and innovation agencies to be the hub of a new digital enterprises program called Tech City.

Led by former Facebook Europe CEO Joanna Shields, Tech City is promoting SMEs with potentials in financial, media and fashion content and services – and is considering other emerging clusters, including environmental management and planning solutions.

With more than 100 events in 22 international cities, the London-activated Big Data Week (late April 2013) encouraged numerate professionals to brainstorm opportunities in stats-reliant disciplines like data science, data analytics, data visualisation and data journalism.

Organisers of the latest Big Data Week, Stewart Townsend and Ande (Andrew) Gregson, cross-promoted London startups like Unruly Media (analysing the virality potentials of online videos), the Agenda21 digital media buying agency, and venture capitalists Archengine, as well as informal social groups like DataScienceLondon, LonData and the Internet of Things.

Attendees at all events agreed that today’s ‘deluge of data’ requires development of open source and open access systems to counteract the dominance and potential monopolisation of proprietary commercial products and information. A new London enterprise, the Open Data Institute (ODI), has been formed to globally promote open and transparent systems for handling and disseminating public information.