Three Transition Year students from Our Lady’s Castleblayney, Maria Duffy, Laura Christie & Tara Quinn who were highly commended in the Social & Behavioural Sciences section at the BT Young Scientist Exhibition with their project entitled ‘Absenteeism as a result of Type 1 Diabetes’ have seen much interest expressed in their project since January. Data analysts from SAS Dublin, John Curran & Alan McGlinn met the students through their Twitter account @teens_diabetes1 and made contact with the girls at the Young Scientist Exhibition.
SAS is a global data analytics company with customers in 145 countries. The company’s software is installed at more than 83,000 business, government and university sites worldwide. 96 of the top 100 companies on the 2017 Fortune Global 500 are SAS customers. Their customers include Nestle, HSBC, Honda, Bank of America and Irish Tax and Customs. Analytics is the discovery and communication of meaningful patterns in data. SAS provides analytics software and tools which companies can use to analyse data and inform decision making.

SAS technical support, Alan McGlinn invited the girls to SAS offices in Dublin to learn how to use a fantastic technology tool called Visual Analytics. This tool can be used to help in the presentation of the findings of their in-depth research on the causes and impact of absences from school, college or work of people with Type 1 Diabetes. As well as learning how to use a visualisation technology, the girls were able to examine their data in more detail which helped them to uncover some new insights from their research. They have also been given free access to the Visual Analytics program for the next few months which will allow them to continue the analysis of their data.

Laura, Maria and Tara were delighted to be given the opportunity to work with data analyst John Curran on the day and are very grateful to Alan McGlinn, John Curran and Joe Kneen who had spent a lot of time working on their data and teaching them how to use Visual Analytics. They also met with the SAS UK and Ireland Healthcare Director Amy Murray and were given the opportunity to discuss their findings with her. Amy was very impressed with their work and hopes to share some of their findings with both the NHS and HSE.

Science teacher, Ms Higgins who has been mentoring the girls with their project, complimented Maria, Laura & Tara on their hard work and commitment and said this is a fabulous opportunity for them to analyse their findings and get the most potential from their data. “The girls got a tour of the offices and got to talk to people in all areas of the company. It allows them to work with professionals in the world of work and gives them an insight into this wonderful technology tool, Visual Analytics. We are extremely grateful to the company SAS Dublin and Alan McGlinn and John Curran who have given us their time and expertise. Indeed the adventure with SAS is just beginning with plans unfolding every day”.

Well done to all involved.