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Archive: October 2015 (Analytics Network)

Tuesday, 27 Oct 2015
Sayara Beg

An Educational Workshop provided by a Distinguished Toastmaster

Possibly the most important role in your career is the role of the evaluator. By encouraging and motivating the person speaking to you, you give them the tips and ideas on how they can improve their communication and be even more effective. However, it is also one of the most difficult roles to get right. Perhaps you find it difficult to identify the key issues you need to comment on? Perhaps you struggle to finish and find yourself droning on? Perhaps you find it difficult if the person speaking to you is more experienced than you are? Perhaps you simply want to find that extra polish that will help you leave the person speaking to you, wanting to hear more from you?

No matter where you are in your career, this Toastmasters International workshop is for you.

On 23rd November 2015, Freddie Daniells will bring his highly interactive workshop, Exceptional Evaluations, to The Data Science Speakers Club. 

This workshop has been well received by over 1300 Toastmasters throughout Great Britain and Ireland. This will be a unique opportunity to hear it at The Data Sciences Speakers club, a Toastmasters International club.

Freddie will share his own experience starting out, and his journey of evaluations since. He will share the tips and secrets that he has learned first hand from some of the best evaluators including past District Toastmaster Competition Champions. Most importantly, he will share with you the process that he has learned to make sure that you will deliver the best evaluation and feedback every time.

By the end of this workshop, you will be able to:

1. Pick the best content to include in your evaluations 
2. Structure your evaluations more effectively 
3. Make your points so that both the speaker and the listening audience get maximum benefit

The workshop will take place at 18:15 at our Data Science Speakers Club venue; St Johns Church of Hoxton, Pitfield Street, London, N1 6NP, near Old Street, the silicon roundabout. 

About Freddie Daniells 
Freddie Daniells is a member of Holborn Speakers and Excalibur Speakers, London’s advanced Toastmasters Club. He is a past Division B Governor for London. Today he is District 91 Governor, responsible for the 7500 members and 260 Toastmasters clubs in Great Britain and Ireland.

Professionally, he coaches senior executives and professionals on how to improve their most critical presentations and public speeches. He has spoken at and worked with companies and organisations like Google, Ernst and Young and the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

He believes that giving feedback is one of the most important life skills that you can learn and has embarked on a one man mission to raise the quality of feedback across District 91!


Tickets cost £2 for Toastmasters and £3 for Non-Toastmasters. This will contribute towards the venue hire costs and provision of refreshments during the event.

Thursday, 22 Oct 2015
Sayara Beg

Big Data and Spatial Analytics

Venue: The Royal Statistical Society, 12 Errol Street, London, EC1Y 8LX

Speaker: Claudia Vitolo (Imperial College) & Daqin Chen (London South Bank University)

Date: Wednesday, 18 November 2015 at 16:00 - 18:00

Big Data & Spatial Analytics

16:00 - 16:45 - Claudia Vitolo (Imperial College) "Improving access to geospatial Big Data in the hydrology domain"

There is a trend of increasing transparency, based on which information produced at public expense is gradually been made open and freely available to improve public involvement in the process of decision and policy making. For hydrologists, this translates into free access to an increasing volume of climate and hydrometric information. However, "free access" is not synonymous of "easy access" and there are many challenges arising when trying to obtain information for hundreds of sites. This talk will focus on the need for interfaces to facilitate programmatic access to data, also touching on reproducible processing workflows and efficient use of distributed computing facilities.

16:45 - 17:00 - Coffee Break

17:00 - 17:45 - Daqing Chen (London South Bank University) "Big Data Analytics Ssytem for Fact/Data-driven Decision Making'

Big Data analytics system has been developed for the London Borough of Lambeth to assist its activities in fact/data driven decision making. The system integrates various historical data from both internal and external sources to provide timely and accurate profiles on multiple measures that the borough council would be concerned.

The data integrated from multiple sources includes demographics (Census: Population, ethnicity, disability, gender, tenure, household composition), employment (NOIMS, census, and annual business survey: Working age, unemployment by age and gender, employment by industry, year-on-year change in unemployment, NEETs), deprivation (NOIMS, IMD, census, and school survey: Child and working tax credits, free school meals, IMD scores, DLA claimants), health care (Health stats: Childhood obesity, percentage of people with respiratory problems, number of hospital admissions, live expectancy, deaths), transport ( Road accident instances, year-on-year change in road accident instances), crime (Met police: Average monthly total crimes, year-on-year change in total crimes), etc.

The information is presented in an interactive, hierarchical and comparative way by using a map-based visualization dashboard. For a given measure, the borough average value can be obtained and compared with the value of each ward/LSOA code within the borough. The system is available in both Tableau-based and SQL Server-based platforms.

17:45 - 18:00 - Discussion & Networking

You can register to attend via the page

or you can email:, or

Similar details can also be found on the RSS events page

Tuesday, 6 Oct 2015
Sayara Beg

Data Science Speakers Club, London, UK: The O. R. Society's very own Toastmasters International Club.

In October 2014, I took the decision to join and actively participate in the newly formed Data Science Speakers Club, a Toastmasters International Club, at an important stage of my professional career, when I wanted to switch from academic research in biology to data science in the corporate world. Apart from very useful communication techniques, the Toastmasters Educational programme and its supporting meeting environment, it gave me a tremendous boost in self-confidence when having to stand up and speak in front of a diverse audience. This proves to be extremely useful in the company environment, where I need to communicate efficiently with colleagues from different teams as well as with clients. 

I am a Data Scientist at the ai Corporation (Guildford, Surrey), and my work involves developing new solutions to detect and prevent fraudulent card payments for card issuers and payment acquirers. In our research team we implement machine learning methods such as Neural or Bayesian Networks but also unsupervised pattern detection methods to identify card transactions done by criminals, which would result in substantial net chargeback losses for financial institutions, if not prevented.

I was introduced to Toastmasters by Sayara Beg (FORS), in the Autumn of 2014, by attending a MeetUp event which was organised through the Analytics Network, a Special Interest Group of The O. R. Society.  As an advanced Toastmaster, Sayara’s next Toastmaster leadership project was to initiate and create a new Toastmasters club. That is how the Toastmasters Data Science Speakers Club started in autumn 2014, with the precious sponsorship of the ORS Analytics Network. Toastmasters International clubs function as a not-for-profit organisation and are managed by a nominated club committee, which change each Toastmaster Year. I volunteered to be the Club's first President, from November 2014 to July 2015, because I wanted to make the club known to Data Scientists and Analytics Networkers and work with Sayara to set up and organise the fortnighlty agenda for each Toastmaster meeting, because I gained so much confidence from it, so quickly, that I wanted others to know about it too and also learn how to gain confidence.

Toastmasters International is a non-profit educational organisation with clubs in 135 countries. The purpose through its thousands of member clubs is to offer an educational program of communication and leadership projects designed to help members improve their communication, public speaking, and leadership skills.

Every session, is split into two sections.  The first section is composed of short prepared speeches by club members, who are following the competent communication educational programme, and they are formally evaluated by another club member, who gives constructive as well as supportive feedback to their speaker to improve the efficiency of their communication skills.

 The second section, following a short networking break, is the fun part of impromptu speaking and everybody gets involved.  Questions of any kind of topics (usually broadly related to analytics or data science) are asked by a ‘Table topics master’.  A random member of the audience is invited to answer the question and they have 60 second to formulate their thoughts and come up with a coherent and structured response to the question.  The questions are usually a combination of fun and challening, designed to give the speaker a chance to practice thinking quickly and on their feet.  This fun exercise not only trains the capacity of impromptu speaking; it often reveals a humorous side of the speakers, that they didn't know they had.

To date the Toastmasters Data Science Speakers club encountered great positive echo. Guests who came ‘just to see’ for one session, saw the benefits they could gain in training their public speaking and leadership skills in a friendly, safe, environment in the company of like-minded data science and analytics-minded people. Our club members elected a new committee in July 2015, with Matthew Robinson, as the current President, of the club. Matthew currently works as Business Analytics Specialty Architect at IBM and is member if the ORS Analytics Network committee, and I provide support, as the Immediate Past President, sharing my knowledge and experience, as President. 

 It is inspiring to see how willingly everyone invests their personal time to run and develop this club, in turn developing their own interpersonal skills. I have no doubt it is the profound gains in self-confidence and public speaking capacities are key in driving the motivation to get involved and participate. . Finally, for me, I think the best thing is meeting and learning from so many differently skilled and experienced people at the Toastmasters sessions.

 The Data Science Speakers Toastmasters sessions take place fortnightly on Monday evenings from 6.30pm to 8.30pm close to Old Street Station in London.  Feel free to contact us through the Toastmasters International club portal site:

or through the MeetUp site:

From these webpages you can contact the committee, sign up to attend a meeting and get detailed information about the venue and session dates.  I hope you will visit the club soon, and even consider signing up to become a member.


Raphael Zollinger


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